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Emergency officials prepare for winter storm in Okaloosa County

With dangerous winter conditions threatening the Florida Panhandle, Okaloosa County has begun to make preparations. Here at the Emergency Operations Center in Niceville, they've been in contact with emergency officials, putting together a plan of action, in case they need one.

From the center, coordinators can monitor weather, traffic cameras, and developing situations.
Officials say they don't expect to need the emergency plan, but they're preparing anyway.

Randy McDaniel "We know these types of events affect certain parts of the county, and the plan addresses what we're going to do if this section of the county is affected."

There is no official plan for extremely cold weather.
Officials use plans for other events, like hurricanes and floods, as templates for handling the winter conditions.
For instance, dump trucks used for hauling debris after a storm will carry sand to roads that are frozen.

Randy McDaniel "If things were to deteriorate, we could call in Public Works, Law Enforcement, Fire, the critical first response entities that we would need in place to respond to it.

Randy McDaniel, the Chief of Emergency Management, says most trouble will be ice on the road, and that drivers should use caution.

Randy McDaniel "They need to pay attention to the bridges, as they cross the bridges, if the bridge appears damp. Just stay in mind that we could have some ice on the bridges."

Now the county says they'll remain in constant communication with the National Weather Service until the most extreme conditions have passed. In Okaloosa County, Rob Brown, Channel Three News.