‘Being prepared is best’: City leaders in Mobile draft hurricane plan


As Hurricane Irma continues to churn towards Florida, city leaders in Mobile are already discussing evacuations and shelter plans. Tuesday’s city council meeting quickly turned into a weather briefing, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson emphasizing that everyone needs to be prepared.

“Prepared as you can possibly be for a hurricane of this magnitude,” Stimpson said.

The mayor said he is meeting with non-profit groups and local law enforcement this week ahead of the storm. He designated Mobile Public Safety Director James Barber as the city’s incident commander.

“As we get closer and closer, there’s a lot of preparation and allocation for resources,” Barber said.

Preparing includes looking at potential shelters (like the city’s public schools), identifying evacuation routes, and other resources. Barber admitted that the city’s resources are stretched thin right now. Many first responders are in Texas assisting with hurricane relief there.

“As we begin our planning process, we have to discuss when do we pull our resources back to make sure this community is covered,” he said, “right now, we are being mindful, staying information, and being prepared”.

The mayor and public safety director plan to meet with several local non-profit group’s Wednesday morning to discuss the plan in detail.