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Linn County Prepares for One Emergency and Reacts to Another

LINN COUNTY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) – Keeping Linn County safe during the 2008 floods started long before the river began to rise.

“There’s a saying that a disaster is a lousy time to exchange business cards,” said the Director of the Linn County Emergency Management Agency Mike Goldberg.

The lines of communication were already open because of the Duane Arnold Energy Center. Preparations and drills for an emergency at the site that is just eight miles from Cedar Rapids. That means that officials in different towns or cities were not just names on a sheet of paper to each other.

“When they needed to come in to action, they had that framework,” said Site Vice President of Duane Arnold Energy Center Richard Anderson. “Where to go, how to staff and how to communicate.”

The Linn County Emergency Operations Center is where is all came together. That one, central location allowed officials from around the area to sit right across the table from the people they needed to see the most.

Even though it was a different emergency than the nuclear one they practiced for once every three months, “all the same tools still come into play. All of our logistics, our hospitals, our public health and Transportation,” said Goldberg.

“I think it’s a natural aspect for an integrated plan like that,” said Anderson.

A plan that prepares for the worst, often beyond what’s likely possible.

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