Jim Wells County and City of Alice officials met on Wednesday morning at the JWC jail to discuss the plans in case a hurricane threatens the area.
Hurricane seasons started June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
Officials signed a contract that states Jim Wells and Duval County will work together in an emergency situation.
The JWC jail is equipped with everything needed to keep the county going during a storm. It will be the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) where officials and responders will gather together to whether the storm.
“The jail is the EOC because it's the safest building,” County Judge Pete Trevino said. “It has a generator and all the equipment we need to communicate with everyone in the county.”
Communications is a big part of emergency management and the fact that we can set up our EOC near the communications center is a big plus, said Lynn Kirchoff, emergency management coordinator.
The jail is has installed storm shatters on windows and doors that will be lowered and can with stand 150 miles per hour winds. Technology in the facility is state of the art and ready for a storm, Chief Deputy Louie Valadez explained.
“All the inmates will be evacuated for their safety, said Sheriff Oscar Lopez. “The jail will be the main headquarters.”
Officials working during any storm can house their families at the jail, Lopez said.
The city and county will be working together for the safety of all the residents, Trevino stated.
“The decision to evacuate is not made lightly,” Kirchoff said.
Safety is the number one concern for the community. Officials ask for residents to heed the warnings.
“Recommendation, if we issue the evacuation order, we want everybody to leave,” Alice Fire Chief Dean Van Nest.