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Emergency officials brace for F1 weekend

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TWC News: Emergency officials brace for F1 weekend
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On Nov. 18, thousands of public safety personnel, ranging from Travis County Sheriff’s deputies to federal agents, will be working together.

The officials will be working to ensure the F1 race and related events go as smoothly as possible.

Michael Hemby has been preparing the Travis County Sheriff's Office for F1.

"This is one of those times when jurisdictional boundaries are set aside, and we work in partnership," he said.

Hemby says workers will be applying the skills they've learned preparing for and handling natural disasters.

"While this is not an emergency, the same tried and true things that we do for that ice storm, for the snow storm, for a plane crash, we are implementing for this," he said.

Austin city leaders say they've got a plan in place and are ready for the more than 100,000 additional people expected to descend on the city.

"Even the best laid plans are not foolproof," Austin City Manager Marc Ott said. "We'll probably have some unexpected issues along the way, but that's why we've chosen to stand up the EOC [Emergency Operation Center]."

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says the Emergency Operation Center will be key in coordinating the response to events downtown and at the track, while at the same time maintaining service to the city.

"Absent a catastrophe, you will not notice any degradation of service of any of our public safety agencies throughout the city," Acevedo said.

In addition to public safety measures, city leaders are planning for transportation predicaments.

Capital Metro will operate a bus loop around downtown, and Circuit of The Americas representatives are advising everyone to plan ample time to get to events and activities.

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