PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Pender County emergency officials have announced their plans to deal with injuries and illnesses following Hurricane Florence.
County EMS & Fire will set up two triage stations located in Burgaw (601 South Smith Street) and in Hampstead (15086 US Hwy 17) located next door to the Hampstead Annex.
"Residents in Pender County can come to the triage centers post-storm to treat injuries or illnesses," said Everett Baysden, Pender EMS & Fire assistant chief. "If the injuries and illnesses require, we can transport patients to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in New Hanover."
Residents in medical distress or injured can still call 911 and the patient will be triaged at the sites, said Baysden.
"We are setting up these medical triage posts for our injured or ill residents," said Woodrow Sullivan, Pender EMS & Fire chief. "We are taking this action in response to the closing of New Hanover Regional Medical Center facilities in Pender County."
County officials say they entered a contract with Disaster Recovery Construction (DRC) and have collaborated with the NC Forestry Service to remove debris post-Hurricane Florence.
Chairman George Brown and Commissioner David Williams met with county emergency personnel and county personnel to solidify a debris contract and plan of action.
"We are staging and mobilizing more than 50 push crews in the county and 40 push crews in Surf City and Topsail Beach to remove sand and debris," said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency manager. "We are being proactive in post-storm planning."
"It is important for our residents to know we will have designated sites for post-storm debris," said Kenny Keel, Pender County Utilities. "We do not take vegetative debris at the convenience sites, only household garbage and other items as designated on the Pender County Solid Waste website. It is important that any storm-related debris be taken to the specific sites to be determined after the storm."
"When it is time to clean up post-storm, residents should use the designated debris sites," said Collins. "We will alert citizens to the monitored sites."
"Storm debris should be divided according to FEMA specifications following Hurricane Florence," said Keel. "There are six categories – household garbage, construction debris, vegetation debris, household hazardous waste, "white" goods, and electronics."
According to FEMA, following the correct way to sort debris to a curb will make for a speedier removal process. FEMA suggested limiting curbside garbage to two 32-gallon containers or eight trash bags; share piles with neighbors, and refrigerator and freezer doors must be secured with duct tape.