Biloxi prepared for hurricane season

Biloxi prepared for hurricane season
Fire Chief Joe Boney says the fire department is prepared for the worst. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Fire Chief Joe Boney says the fire department is prepared for the worst. (Photo source: WLOX News)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Atlantic hurricane season has started, putting many residents on edge.

Officials with the City of Biloxi say they're ready should a storm threaten the Coast, but there's only so much a city can do to prepare.

Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney hopes that the start of the season will alert residents to get ready.

"No storm is a minimal storm. They can all be catastrophic no matter how big or small," said Boney.

For many people who call the Coast home, a storm in the Gulf only means one thing - head north. City spokesman Vincent Creel says evacuating is the absolute best thing to do but unfortunately, there are residents who have gotten what he calls 'hurricane fatigue.'

Creel says the fatigue is when someone has forgotten how bad hurricanes can get, and decides to not prepare or leave if a storm approaches.

"We call that fatalistic thinking," said Creel.
The city raises awareness by sending out postcards and informational pamphlets to its citizens. Because of their various hurricane readiness efforts and campaigns, the city has been rated by the National Flood Insurance Program.

"Biloxi has a class five. We're the top-rated in the state," said Creel.

According to Creel, the rating means not only cheaper flood insurance, but also better readiness. Part of what makes readiness possible is the fire department and other first responders.

"We're all part of this big picture. All of the departments have to work together," said Boney.

The fire department has a storm plan prepared all throughout the year, but it's up to homeowners to prepare themselves with supplies and an evacuation route.

"We should be doing that now. This all should be done now before there is a threat," said Boney.

But, if there is a threat, Boney feels confident that his department will do its job to the best of its ability.

"We will be here, and we will be ready," said Boney.

Tune in to the WLOX News Now First Alert Prepare South Mississippi special that airs Friday at 6:30 p.m. on WLOX CBS, and Saturday at 5 p.m. on WLOX ABC.

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