The mobile command center in west Houston is already in place and by Saturday night, several medical transportation vehicles will be staged there. Included in the group are about 250 buses, 25 ambulances and as many as seven helicopters.
The planning for the operation at the staging site is happening now. The mobile command center unit is equipped with satellite technology, allowing medical staff to coordinate with state officials.
Beginning Saturday, several paramedics, medical personnel and drivers will be staying there. It's just one way state and local emergency officials are preparing.
"Our resources from our department and our partner agencies are on standby, ready to deploy with the call is necessary," said Mark Sloan with the Harris County Office of Emergency Management. "Whether it's to evacuate or contra-flow lanes are necessary, those resources are on standby and are ready to go."
Similar sites are being set up in Texas City and near Beaumont. One of the main priorities is to assist those with special needs and medical patients.
Harris County OEM activated
The Harris County Office of Emergency Management is open 24 hours as Hurricane Gustav approaches the Gulf. On Friday, essential employees were told to stay close to home in case the storm makes a turn. Residents who need help evacuating if a storm approaches our area are urged to call 211 now so authorities know where you are and how to get you in an emergency.
Emergency officials in Brazoria and Chambers Counties tell us they are monitoring the storm and told essential county employees not to leave town this weekend.
Pre-deployment to Houston
Troops from as far away as Oakland have come to Texas to get ready for Gustav. Seventeen members of the U.S. Air Force reserve's task force four and their rescue dogs flew to Houston as part of a pre-deployment. Seventeen other task force reservists are driving their vehicles to southeast Texas.