Coast media team up during hurricane season

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack met with members of the Emergency Information Network Thursday at WLOX-TV. He told group that the media plays a key role in making sure people are aware.

"We can hold public meetings and do training sessions, but for the most part, most people get information from the media. It's critical that we're partners in what we're doing," Womack said.

Forecasters have predicted an above average hurricane season for 2011 and MEMA wants to make sure all residents are prepared to take precautions to secure property and keep their families safe.

Womack said it's important to be prepared.

"If there is a storm projected to hit the Mississippi Coast, you don't need to wait for a watch or warning. You need to prepare for the season as if we're going to have a storm next week and prepare for it."

With the great flood of 2011 decimating communities along the Mississippi River and a series of killer tornados, MEMA has been challenged to respond to numerous disasters this year. Womack said the agency has relied on cooperation from around the state.

"We've had a great team. We've had emergency managers from all over the state. A lot of the coastal EM Managers came up and assisted."

The Emergency Information Network is a media partnership involving WLOX-TV, The Sun-Herald Newspaper, WOSM Radio, and the Mississippi Media radio stations.

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