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Emergency Officials: Prepare For A Hurricane Now

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 29 May 2012 04:22pm | comments
Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane season begins this weekand officials in Mississippi are saying now is the time to prepare for a potential disaster. MPB Jeffrey Hess reports how the state is gearing up for the six month hurricane season.

The hurricane season officially begins on Friday but there have already two named storms so far this year.

Emergency officials say that should serve as a reminder to Mississippians to prepare a disaster kit....including food, water and medicine...before a storm is bearing down on the state.

Mississippians can also use this time to prepare their homes to withstand a hurricane, says Julie Rochman with the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

"The roof should be strapped to the top of the walls. The walls should be strapped to each other. The house itself should be strapped to the foundation in some way. All of those things will make sure that the wind goes around your house or over your house. Because once the wind gets into your house it will pressurize your house and then it basically can blow your house apart from the inside out," Rochman said.

It has been seven years since Mississippi faced a major hurricane.

David White, a contractor in central Mississippi, says that length of time has caused people to put hurricane preparedness on the back burner.

"All my jobs in the last 9 months to a year, I have had no requests for any hurricane type construction. Nothing related to a hurricane and I have not even had anyone mention the word hurricane to me," White said.

But Mississippi Emergency management Director Robert Latham says Katrina showed that the whole state, not just the coast, should prepare to respond to a hurricane.

MEMA is running a simulation of a category three hurricane today so emergency officials from around Mississippi can rehearse what to do if a real storm hits.

"The emergency coordinating officers that are representing the various state agencies and non-profits. They will be on the EOC floor. They will be feed information and they will be required to respond to it," Latham said.

Latham says the simulation will also pull the Governor and state agency heads, the majority of whom are new to their positions, together to build their skills.

Hurricane season begins June first and ends on the last day in November.

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Hurricane Katrina.


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