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WAREHOUSE IS DISASTER NERVE CENTER

The state on Thursday opened a 200,000-square-foot warehouse and joint command center for disaster response, which will hold millions worth of stockpiled commodities.

The warehouse, located in an industrial park not far from the Orange County jail, is a former pharmaceutical manufacturing facility that will cost $1.5-million a year to lease.

Its contents, worth an estimated $8.5-million, include:

- 1.5-million gallons of water.

- 65,000 nonperishable meals.

- 45,000 tarps.

- 8 miles of generator cable.

- 6,000 special needs cots and bed kits.

Officials warned residents they would still have to stockpile their own supplies.

The contents of the warehouse would be enough for only one day in a Category 3 hurricane, officials said.

The facility also serves as a command and operations center.

It has a helicopter landing area and an 820-square-foot, climate-controlled vault - a carryover from the pharmaceutical operation.

Chuck Hagen, the state's emergency logistics chief, said expensive communication gear would go in the vault.

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