GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Thursday's surprise storms and flooding took many people in South Mississippi by surprise.
"This week we realized that not only do hurricanes bring floods, but flash floods occur," said Gulfport Councilman, R.Lee Flowers. "We had a major one here in Gulfport that affected a lot of citizens."
Following the severe weather, Councilman Flowers decided to team up with the Gulfport Fire Department and the American Red Cross in a effort to make sure residents are safe.
"We'll have a concentrated effort on a few neighborhoods to really get in there, and make certain that they have fire safety in their home," said Red Cross volunteer Nancy Furmanski.
Red Cross officials stress how important it is to change smoke detector batteries. Not only do they die, but the detector itself only has a lifespan of about 10 years.
"It's really essential that you have one that works. You only have about 2 minutes from the time that the fire starts to get out of the home safely," said Furmanski.
Businesses from different parts of Gulfport were also present, showing their support.
"We have some great sponsors for this event this morning. We have a Walmart Super Center in Gulfport, my friend Kevin Gaines is the manager of the Walmart on Hwy. 49 in Gulfport," said Councilman Flowers. "They both gave $1,000."
The event concluded with a fish fry at Fire Station 10.