Hurricane season is a couple of weeks old and preparations are being taken by state, county, and local officials to be ready in the event of a storm coming to Texas. Orange County is preparing for the tropical season and has a relatively new emergency management coordinator.
Missy Pillsbury was appointed in March to the position of emergency management coordinator replacing Charlie Cox who resigned because of health issues with a family member. Pillsbury served as the assistant coordinator under Cox and has held other positions of authority including supervisor of the Orange County Airport.
Pillsbury said she is excited about taking on the responsibilities of the emergency management coordinator for the county and learning more about the job. She attended an all hazard incident management training course that was position specific and was a very good class according to Pillsbury. Most recently Pillsbury took part in the statewide “Hurricane Charlie” exercise which simulated an actual hurricane and gave practical experience as if it were a real event. She learned a lot from that drill. Pillsbury stated, “With our team that we have so far, I feel like the county’s in a good place.”
Also, attending the hurricane exercise last week was Commissioner Jody Crump because County Judge Brint Carlton was out of the state. Crump believes the drill which simulated a Category 3 hurricane making landfall on the Texas coast was a successful test of the state’s and the county’s readiness for a possible hurricane. “As it stands right now, I’m glad Missy’s on board with us as our emergency management coordinator. She was there on top of things so I am very confident we’re prepared for hurricane season,” Crump summarized.
Forecasters are predicting an above normal hurricane season with the possibility of up to 17 named storms. They predict as many as nine of those storms could become hurricanes with maybe four that reach Category 3 or higher. Hurricane season runs through the end of November.