Cook County officials gear up for a hard winter

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CHICAGO (AP) — Emergency management officials say residents in the Chicago area should gear up for what could be one of the most challenging winters in recent history.

CHICAGO (AP) — Emergency management officials say residents in the Chicago area should gear up for what could be one of the most challenging winters in recent history.

Meteorologists are predicting up to 58 inches of snow for Cook County.

Michael Masters is the director of the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. He says several plans have been put into place over the last six months since he took the job.

For example, he says first responders are getting breaking information faster on critical incidents. Other changes include an around-the-clock information sharing hub and a weather tool that gives advance weather information.

Masters says the county has also improved relationships with long-term facilities for more immediate response during an emergency.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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