County prepares for future emergencies through 'EarthX' training

County prepares for future emergencies through 'EarthX' training

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LUBBOCK, Texas -


County leaders say they are prepared if a disaster strikes the Lubbock area, whether it is natural or man-made.

They said the first priority is citizens' safety.

"When disasters happen, when emergencies happen, we need to all be on the same page," Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish said.

To ensure this consensus, employees took part in EarthX training for the third year. 

"The basic premise is some type of interruption of a, what they call a black sky event, which would be a longterm, widespread power outage, that could either be caused by a solar flare, maybe a EMP, terrorist attacking infrastructure," Clinton Thetford, Lubbock County Emergency Management Coordinator said. "This year's scenario was somewhat based on cyberattacks, which we have recently seen here in Texas."

It might sound a little outlandish, but the scenario pushes communication and keeping citizens safe. It also focused on how to maintain goods and services in this event. 

The skills learned in the scenario apply to any emergency, Parrish said, and the county is prepared to respond.

"It is training exercises like today that keep us prepared," he said. "We've brought in a lot of new folks, we've had new department heads and we've had new employees, and we want to make sure that our key employees and our department heads are all under the same plan, and we're meeting the needs of Lubbock County."

While you are the county's top priority, the leaders said you should also set your own emergency plan.

"I would encourage citizens to really go out and look at doing a preparedness plan for you and your family, you know, get those emergency supplies you might need, especially if you medical issues or special needs," Thetford said.

Parrish said a disaster is always unpredictable, and these exercises ensure first responders have adequate means of communication, and the resources to protect citizens.

"We would be dealing with things like goods and services, we'll be dealing with things like the banking issues, but our top priority first and foremost is keeping the people of Lubbock County safe," Parrish said.

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