Hancock County closer to new EOC building

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Imagine having to pack up and move sensitive weather and communication equipment six times in a five year period.

Hancock County EOC Director Brian Adam said, "Oh it's just been a nightmare."

Right now the EOC is sharing space with The Housing Resource Center in Waveland, but plans are in the works to change that.

Adam said, "We're very excited knowing that it's getting close. Where we'll be in one permanent place, we won't have to continue to move."

The building will be a concrete structure is designed to stand up to almost anything mother nature can dish out.

Unabridged Architecture John Anderson said, "It's designed to meet FEMA 361 standards. Which means it's designed to meet 200 mile per hour wind loads and impact loads from flying objects. So it's going to be the safest place in the county when a storm comes around."

Al Showers, Kiln; The 10,000 square foot building will be located on an eight acre track of land on Highway 603 in the Kiln community about a half mile north of Highway 43."

The building will have bunk rooms capable of housing about 40 people. A large operations center that can hold up to 70 people will be loaded with state of the art weather and communications equipment.

Anderson said, "That's the room that really has to perform well when it counts."

The other interesting thing about the buildings that it will house the emergency 911 operation, so a portion of the building is in operation 24-7.

"The contract is out for bid right now," Geoffrey Clemens with Compton Engineering said. "Bids will be received October 20th, and it normally takes one or two months to get a project awarded and to construction."

"The emergency management agencies has been sort of leap frogging around the county in different buildings. It's high time they have a place of their own," Anderson said. "They do such an important job for the citizens of this county."

FEMA, insurance money and Community Development Block Grant funds are paying for the $3.5 million project.

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