State emergency operation center open - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

State emergency operation center open

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PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

State reps from various agencies arrived at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency early Monday morning to set up the state's emergency operations center. As tropical storm Isaac strengthens, officials are all under one roof with specific roles to help compile a comprehensive emergency plan. 

"So you might have MDOT monitoring the roads, Department of Public Safety helping with traffic control points so that if people do end up evacuating they can get through clearly," said Jeff Rent, MEMA's Director of External Affairs.

When it comes to learning about evacuation plans Rent said the state doesn't issue the evacuation orders.

"That is done at the local level, so the counties will make their own decision on if and when it's time to evacuate their residents," said Rent.

Entergy officials are prepping for the storm too.

"We are preparing as if this is going to be a category two hurricane that strikes our service territory," said Mara Hartmann, the spokesperson for Entergy Mississippi.

Entergy plans to send crews from all over the state to areas that could get hit by Isaac.

"We plan to ask for 4,350 additional mutual assistance and contract workers to come to our assistance."

Around 4:00 PM Monday MEMA officials will have a coordination phone call with officials from counties all across the state. MEMA will gather more information about what specific counties are doing in preparation for Isaac, plus find out what each county needs.

MEMA recommends preparing a three day emergency kit. The kit should include supplies like batteries, a flashlight and a battery operated radio. You should also stock up on water, non-perishable food and medicine. Make sure you also have important documents, extra baby food and pet food.

Go to MEMA's website at www.msmema.org for more hurricane and severe storm advice and safety tips.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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