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City conducts first evacuation exercise since Hurricane Harvey

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 10:06:00-04

We know all too well that some emergencies can prompt us to leave our homes or even leave town. That’s what we saw last year, as hurricane Harvey approached us. Fortunately, the city was ready to evacuate people because of an annual training exercise.

That city emergency evacuation drill was held Friday afternoon at Corpus Christi Gym on Cabaniss Parkway. Staff from several city departments, along with organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, participated.

The drill also wouldn’t be possible without volunteers from the public who acted as evacuees so the city and its partners could test the evacuation process.

Angela Austin was one of those people. She decided to come after Harvey presented some challenges for the medically disabled children she serves through Driscoll Health Plan.

"Last year from Hurricane Harvey, we had some issues with trying to evacuate a lot of our kids — a lot of miscommunication in the community," Austin tells KRIS 6 News.

Britney Godwin also volunteered for the exercise, but she didn’t come alone. She brought her pet dog, Annie. Godwin says she and her family just moved to Corpus Christi in April, so she came to learn a safety plan for her and her pets.

"Because we have four doggies and we wanted to know what to do in case something like that ever happened," she said.

Corpus Christi has been doing this drill for at least six years. City staff says it’s paid off when we needed it most, like during last year’s storm.

"Harvey came and it came so quick that because we have drilled every year, people knew what their roles were," said Billy Delgado, the city’s Emergency Management Coordinator. 

"People knew what to do so we were able to successfully evacuate anybody who needed a ride out of town."

There are a couple of ways to register to get information or help during an emergency. You can sign up for the city’s Reverse Alert system by visiting this website. Delgado also encourages people to sign up for the state’s 211 program. Learn more about it by clicking here