APPLETON - Outagamie County officials say they are looking to correct missteps during a severe storm in early August. In this case, no one was seriously hurt, but the county says improvements can be made to ensure greater safety.
Tuesday night, Outagamie County's Public Safety Committee discussed a report from Emergency Management. In the report are details of the early August storms when several tornadoes touched down in the area.
Emergency Management admitted difficulties with equipment and decision making, but director Julie Loeffelholz told FOX 11 steps are being taken now to fix those issues.
"We've been meeting with certain departments and various groups and organizations and focusing on the future to try to improve the process," said Loeffelholz.
Loeffelholz told us, specifically, work has been done to ensure Emergency Management is connected to a backup generator. The office lost power during the storms.
Committee chair Jim Duncan told FOX 11 it's a good start.
"I feel comfortable those changes are being made," said Duncan.
However, Duncan says despite the fact some changes are already going through, he still has concerns.
"We still have the human factor in there and we still have to see that that responds appropriately at the time. I'm not sure we're there yet," Duncan explained.
Duncan told us luckily no one was badly hurt the night of the storms, but said Emergency Management needs more training to earn back trust.
"Once you stop learning you might as well just not do the job anymore, so learning, looking at the future, how we can improve," said Loeffelholz.
Emergency Management's 6-page report is only preliminary. Fox Valley Technical College is working on a more in depth report on the storm response.
"I'm sure that they will have some good suggestions for all the departments and the county as a whole," Loeffelholz explained.
And more changes could come from that.
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