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Planning for the worst brought out the very best

Long before Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys, a group of local citizens and officials were working day and night to put together a plan to keep this community and its residents safe in what could have possibly turned out to be the storm of the century for Seminole County. When the potential for Irma’s disastrous consequences became a possible reality for southwest Georgia, planning for the absolute worst case scenario brought out the very best in this community.
Beginning last Friday afternoon a group of government and community leaders, under the guidance of Seminole County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Travis Brooks and Deputy EMA Director Jeff Braswell,  worked diligently to address and plan for what could be done before  and during the storm, as well as to determine all that would be needed to provide the safest environment available for the public and facilitate the most efficient return to normal conditions after the storm.
It was a monumental effort by a truly dedicated group of people. After attending each of the meetings I can proudly say the citizens of this community were and are blessed to have this group of people working for their safety and well being – last week and each and every week to come.
I pray that this community does not suffer through another potential natural disaster like Hurricane Irma for a very long time – if ever. However, in the event that it does, this community should have a much higher confidence in weathering the storm waters because of the capable and committed captains who are sailing the ship.
 This community owes a huge debt of gratitude to each and every one who put their own lives on hold to make sure you and yours were positioned to be safe. In addition to Brooks and Braswell, members of the Emergency Management planning  group who had your safest and best interests at heart included County Manager Paula Granger, City Manager Steven Hicks, Donalsonville Mayor Dan Ponder, Iron City Mayor Ronnie Ingram, City of Donalsonville and Iron City Council members, Seminole County Commissioners,  Sheriff Heath Elliott and his deputies, Police Chief Woodrow Blue and his officers, Fire Chiefs Dean King and Phillip Hornsby, firefighters from Donalsonville, Iron City and Spring Creek, E911 Director Paula Whaley, Seminole County School Superintendent Brinson Register, elementary, middle and high school representatives, Three Notch EMC representatives, Seminole County health department officials, road department and public works employees, EMS members and a staff member of the Donalsonville News.
Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our safety and for giving us yet another reason to be proud to call Seminole County home.
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