Hurricane Sandy thankfully spared York County the worst of her fury.

But local emergency officials heeded the dire warnings that preceded the "Superstorm" and prepared as best they could for a potential disaster.

After all, we'd been down this road fairly recently with Tropical Storm Lee, which last year took a heavy toll on the county, particularly in the eastern municipalities.

That experience prompted officials in eastern York County to pool their resources ahead of Sandy and plan for a united response should the storm deliver her worst.

Officials in Wrightsville, Hallam, Yorkana and East Prospect boroughs, as well as Hellam and Lower Windsor townships and the Eastern York School District, set up a single emergency operations center, which was overseen by one coordinator.

Representatives from emergency services, the municipalities, their authorities and the school district met before and during the storm to keep everyone abreast of developments.

A state Department of Transportation official and state representatives Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, and Keith Gillespie, R-Springettsbury Township, also attended at least one of the meetings.

"Coming into this, we got all our logistics together," said Fred Smeltzer, chief of the Hallam Fire Department, where the emergency operations center was located.

When all was over, Sandy's punch wasn't nearly as hard as Lee's, and emergency responders dealt with fewer calls than during last year's storm.

But the planning and organization was by no means wasted.


In fact, you could call it a semi-dry run for exactly the type of response all municipalities should prepare before weather-related events.

Wrightsville Fire Chief Chad Livelsberger said the way Sandy was handled worked out so well it might pave the way for more inter-municipal planning in the future.

"When you work together like that, it makes things easier," he said. "No one single community can stand alone during a storm of this magnitude."

But why stop with storms?

If such cooperation works so well in an emergency, it seems it might be worth pursuing as a permanent solution to rising costs of services in the municipalities.

Maybe we won't remember Sandy so much as the storm of the century, but rather as the catalyst for regionalization in eastern York County.