DEMA's Operations Center in Smyrna is a 28,000-square-foot high-tech communications facility. The Center is built to withstand 120-mph winds, lightning, and a moderate earthquake, not to mention its redundant systems that allow for continuous operations for an extended period of time.

Inside the Center, a large amphitheatre, complete with computer workstations, allows individuals and agencies to monitor and assess emergency situations. Another area of the facility, called the Technical Assessment Center, is activated in an emergency to bring together key scientific personnel - some from outside DEMA - to assess the effects of the hazard on life, health and the environment.

As an example, if a hurricane threatens, DEMA calls on University of Delaware meteorologists, including State Climatologist Dr. Dan Leathers, to provide detailed forecasts and to interpret the incoming weather data. These meteorologists then work with specialists from other agencies, such as DNREC, to assess flooding potential and make decisions about evacuations. Tomorrow a look at emergency preparedness. I'm Dr. Jon Nese.

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