Hurricane Preparation Changes For Harrison County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hurricane Preparation Changes For Harrison County

General Joe Spraggins covered a lot of ground in Thursday's meeting on what changes Harrison County residents should expect this hurricane season.

The most significant - evacuation times, which will apply as soon as Harrison County appears in the cone of uncertainty.

"We would start then looking at a voluntary evacuation. At 72 hours is what we're talking about. We would look at 72 hours and I'll tell you why. 72 hours is longer than we ever done before in our life, as far as time, but we have 20,000 people that are working here everyday that are not here normally, and we have another 15,000 that are volunteers everyday. And then we have 38,000 people in FEMA trailers. We've got to give people time to move," said Gen. Spraggins.

Mandatory evacuations of Zone A and low lying areas will begin 48 hours before a storm's landfall.

Zones A and B at 36 hours depending on the storm's strength.

State and local transportation will help evacuate people to other sites a day before the storm.

Local shelters will open only 12 hours before a storm hits.

"I'll be honest with you, the reason for that, I want as many people possible to leave if that's the case," said Gen. Spraggins.

And while it is urged that South Mississippians have enough supplies to take care of themselves, there are various agencies, including MEMA, the Red Cross, and all of the military branches, that have stocked enough food and water to last for about 3 days until FEMA arrives.

That also goes for fuel to keep distribution sites running.

But as always, individual preparation will be the key to all emergency planning this hurricane season.

By Karla Redditte

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