Hurricane shelters are ready. Are you? - - The News for South Mississippi

Hurricane shelters are ready. Are you?


By Rebecca Powers – bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - As we enter the 2010 hurricane season, Harrison County's EOC director said the county is prepared to shelter those in need from a hurricane. But he fears a lot of able bodied people are not getting ready to take care of themselves.

Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacey takes lessons from Katrina to protect the public as much as humanly possible.

"We are a little bit better prepared. You never can be 100 percent. I wish I could say that," Lacey said.

Since 2005, he said the county has created updated shelters and partnered with Coast Transit Authority to pick up anyone who needs shelter from a storm. They have space for at least 10,000 people.

"Of course, our population is larger than that and we've got some primary shelters already identified we would open those up and we would open up second areas."

Three new state of the art shelters called "361's" are at West Harrison, D'Iberville and Harrison Central High Schools. Central Elementary in Gulfport, North Bay North Biloxi and Harrison Central Elementary are also shelters, along with several Red Cross shelters.

They have done all they can to prepare. Now it's your turn. Lacey said more people must take individual responsibility to protect themselves as best they can. He said the county can not possibly do it alone.

"We are not seeing people take the preparedness level and revisit their hazard kits," Lacey said.

And that worries him. It is imperative that the public take heed of the aftermath of Katrina and do whatever they can to protect themselves and their families.

"This is the time to start to stock up on your supplies and revisit your plan to make sure that you're prepared for hurricane season."

If you are disabled or need transportation to evacuate, call Coast Transit Authority to get on a pick-up list. You can also go to to register online.

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