Tropical Storm Debby will be remembered for being the first weather-related event to force full activation of Bay County's new Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
The EOC opened in Southport in April 2010. Within days, officials activated the center in response to the BP oil spill.
According to Bob Majka, Assistant County Manager, experience gained during the oil incident led to fine tuning of emergency response plans and helped avoid potential problems when Debby threatened the area.
Majka said communication is the key to a successful disaster response. "Making sure that all of your decision makers are communicating with each other [and] you've got timely, relevant information," he said. "You can make good decisions based on that and the actions that flow forth from that should serve the public interest."
Majka said the EOC is still active but in "monitoring" mode. The county will continue to watch the storm until it is no longer a threat, he said.