MANTEO, N.C. (WVEC) -- Dare, Hyde and Tyrell counties are now more prepared than ever to take on an emergency with their brand new Regional Emergency Communications Center based in Manteo.

The $14 million building was designed to withstand a hurricane and tornado. During a severe weather event, dozens of emergency crews will be working together to solve problems, answer calls from citizens, carefully track the storm, and keep everyone informed with the most accurate, up-to-date information.

“It only takes one storm to make it a terrible season, so we need to prepare, and we've done that,” Dare County Emergency Management Director Dean Pearson said.

Dare, Hyde and Tyrell counties are the first three counties in the state to consolidate emergency 911 communications. 911 staff will be working with over 50 agencies to provide emergency services across all three counties. Every year the average number of calls is estimated at 153,000 or one call every 30 seconds.

The building has several meeting rooms, a call center, sleeping quarters, and a kitchen and dining area. It also provides administrative offices for Dare County emergency services.