By Chris Newbrough
Audrain County PIO
Thanks to the generosity of several area businesses, Audrain County became a safer place to live and work recently. Through monetary gifts from Pearl Motor Company, Goody’s Department Store and Wal-Mart, the Audrain County Emergency Management Agency was able to purchase seven new laptops and two large-screen televisions for the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
“I’d like to personally thank these businesses for stepping up and making Audrain County a safer place to live and work,” said Audrain County Emergency Management Director Steve Shaw. “The upgrade of equipment will allow us as a county to respond better, more efficient and timely to a disaster in the county that requires the EOC to be opened.”
The seven new laptops, bought with funding from Stage Stores, Inc., which owns Goody’s, and Pearl Motor Company, will be used at various stations at the EOC and will allow multiple people to connect to the Internet at once, which means contacting the state for resources and supplies will be quicker.
“While one person is requesting, let’s say, seven bulldozers for debris removal,” Shaw explained, “another person can be on another laptop ordering food for those workers while a third can be checking on the status of the situation and a fourth can be updating the State Emergency Management Agency on our situation. It will just make the operation of the EOC that much more fluid.”
The two televisions were purchased with a grant from Wal-Mart and will also be installed at the county’s EOC. Shaw says the televisions will allow those in the EOC the ability to keep abreast on different things while they are in the EOC.
“Through the use of the TVs, we’ll be able to project a computer screen onto one of them in order to follow weather, get updates on weather from area stations on the other TV, be able to have the whole room see what the state is doing in response to the disaster while we follow any news coverage of the event,” Shaw said. “Before, we were relying on our Smartphones and word of mouth about what was going on. Now, we’ll have a better picture of what is happening in real time.”
Shaw says it says a lot about the Audrain County business community by what these three businesses have done.
“It’s absolutely fantastic that these three businesses recognized there was a need for a better response,” Shaw said. “Through their donations, we are able to make that more of a reality. I thank you and, the residents of Audrain County thank you!”