Local Officials Prepare For Disaster Response

"I think the people here and everywhere tend to have selective memory when it comes to situations like Anthrax attack and Hurricane Katrina we tend to think it can't happen to us," said President of the CDC Foundation, Charles Stokes.

But it can.

Just like the March 1st storm that ripped through parts of Columbus, Americus and East Alabama.

And what would happen if an even bigger disaster struck?

The Centers For Disease Control is trying to make sure Columbus is prepared.

Local leaders gathered Friday for The first Meta Leadership Summit For Preparedness.

"What this conference is going to do is wake people up to realize that more than likely, sooner or later, something bad is going to happen in Columbus," said Stokes.

"The plans we have now are as good as they can be for where we are and the opportunity we have today is to take another step forward," added Columbus Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Riley Land.

The summit contains a hands-on curriculum designed by Harvard University professors.

One main focus: solving problems collectively while strengthening the community, forcing them to work together during an emergency.

"Some scenarios are so deadly that we'll only be able to respond adequately by working together, " added Stokes.

"It brings us all together to identify how can we better work together if we have a disaster in our area," said Columbus Fire and EMS Chief Jeff Myers.