Local residents say they’re happy with the local response to Tropical Storm Irma, though they had some ideas for better dealing with the next one.

Respondents to the 1Q cellphone survey of 200 residents of communities served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown generally gave local officials and utilities good marks for their handling of storm repairs. But some respondents offered suggestions on how to improve the response to future storms.

“They did a fine job,” a 53-year-old Buckhead man commented.

More than nine of 10 respondents said local governments and utilities responded either very well or OK in repairing damage from the storm. Only 9.5 percent rated the response as poor or terrible.

Hurricane Irma, which inflicted extensive damage on the Caribbean and Florida, was downgraded to a tropical storm in Georgia, but it still brought high winds and rain and knocked out power, closed roads and downed trees across the state, including in metro Atlanta. More than half of Georgia Power Co.’s customers in DeKalb County lost power, according to media reports, and some local residents were without power for days.

Some called for better coordination. A 49-year-old Brookhaven man suggested officials “proactively communicate before, during, and after the storm of current and/or potential problems.”

Others suggested preparing for the problem before it arrives by burying power lines or identifying trees likely to fall. “Bury Buckhead power lines!!!!! Too many trees,” a 48-year-old Buckhead man said.

Other respondents called for better use of technology to communicate with residents about the storm cleanup.

“They should use mobile websites to show consumers in detail where damage has occurred and which houses/businesses are off,” a 49-year-old Sandy Springs man noted. “Then show specifics about the progress — known, dispatched, on-site, repairing, testing, etc.”

A 36-year-old Atlanta woman thought it would help to have the information in one place. “When the power is out use of radio announcements are key! It would be great to have one website dedicated to when disasters happen,” she wrote.

Not everyone was pleased with the response. One 20-year-old Brookhaven woman had a simple suggestion for bettering communications with the public: “Answer the phone.”

1Q is an Atlanta-based start-up that sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text messages. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting “REPORTER” to 86312.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.