Friday, March 7, 1997
New Kenton center
up to task

The Cincinnati Enquirer

ERLANGER - The new Kenton County emergency operations center, which underwent a trial by flood, is receiving high marks from the officials who created and use it.

With a few phone calls to local officials as the waters rose, a second-floor room in the Erlanger Fire Department, usually reserved for training, became the Emergency Operations Center Sunday night.

County Disaster and Emergency Services Director Rob Owens said the center is working well during its first emergency.

''So far, it's been smooth,'' Mr. Owens said.

Maps on walls identify flood-plain areas along the Ohio and Licking rivers and major roads. ''Status'' posters show available shelters, emergency personnel, evacuations and weather reports.

In addition, numerous cellular and battery phones are used to take requests, including one from Pendleton County asking for 10 policemen to patrol Falmouth.

All the tools are used to manage resources such as public-works employees, firefighters, police officers and volunteers countywide - a task that would be impossible without a central location.