Hurricane Preparation Improvements In Jackson County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/21/04

Hurricane Preparation Improvements In Jackson County

"It was almost like a ninth hour plan that we had," Moss Point Police Chief Michael Ricks says.

Ricks says his department developed a Hurricane plan book just two days before Ivan hit.

He says it wasn't enough time for his officers to prepare their homes, nor for the department to prepare for the worst.

"Our cable went down. When the cable went down, our internet went down. We're basically in the dark as far as communication back and forth. The televisions that we have here are hooked to cable, and we weren't wired to use just the antennas," Ricks says. 

The same happened at the Jackson County Civil Defense Building. Although they had been planning for the storms many days in advance, preparing backup communication channels wasn't on the list.

"I think for everyone out there working and the people working as volunteers. For them to see what's going on while they're out there working, probably would have made them feel a little more comfortable," Jackson County Civil Defense Director Butch Loper says. 

These misfortunes have both the Jackson County Civil Defense and the Moss Point Police Department looking ahead and making preparations for the next storm.

But they say the many successes have them looking back at the things they did right.

"When we needed people to start clearing the streets, people cleared the streets. When we started issuing evacuations, people started to leave at that point," Ricks says.

"We seemed to have a good team that was working well together. I think that was real successful," Loper says.

by Jaimee Goad 

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