City of Wichita Falls Prepared for The Storm

"We plan for the worst and kinda hope for the best," is the mantra coming from Wichita Falls Emergency Management Coordinator John Henderson.  After the Christmas Blizzard of '09, he says the city has a few things it wants to focus on before the storm.

"With the lessons learned we had last year, I think communications is gonna be a big thing," he said.

That's why Wichita Falls is planning on opening the emergency operations center for the incoming storm.  Just this afternoon, Henderson met with city departments and first responders about each of their responsibilities to make sure everything was clear.

"My job is to make sure they're all talkin' to each other so we're not duplicating, but something's not falling between the cracks, too," he said.

Meanwhile, the 8 or so spreader trucks will be prepared to start sanding roads as soon as the snow stops.  While the city still doesn't own any snow plows, the spreader trucks do have a list of priority areas.     

"You try to get the areas that are critical to get because if you can't get first responders to an accident, then that's a big issue," Henderson said.

Still, if need be, he can call in rescue equipment and high-profile vehicles from the state.  He hopes the traffic will be less than it was in 2009, because it's not a holiday.

"The big thing we're gonna stress is stay home.  And if you have to be out, slow down," he said.

Henderson says he's got a cot ready to sleep in his office if needed.  He also says he doesn't think the city will call a code red unless there are evacuations, or other critical information such as shelter points that the general public needs to know about.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6