Jackson County Offers Free Bus Rides For Hurricane Evacuations

If there's a hurricane this season, you'll hear a rumble down Vera Sparrow's street. She learned her lesson during Katrina. And that's why she's taking the bus.

"I lost everything in that storm, but thank the Lord, I didn't lose me. If I'd have stayed I would have though," Sparrow said.

Dozens of buses are ready and waiting to make evacuation free and easy for anyone in Jackson County. It's up to you to save a seat.

"It literally will pull right up to your door, you get yourself, you get your two bags, and we get you to a safe location," Ken Flanagan said.

The bus is great for disabled residents and the estimated 9,000 Jackson County residents still in FEMA trailers. Flanagan says the need is vast, but so far, the response is not. Only 53 people have signed up.

"Our biggest concern is that a storm is going to make its way into the Gulf. We make it into the probability, and then the phone lines start lighting up. At that point, it's too late," Flanagan said.

Sparrow urges people to sign up while there's still time. She says it could be the most important ride of your life.

"It would mean everything to me, saving my life for one thing. And my life means everything to me, and I appreciate it so much," Sparrow.

Sparrow hopes she doesn't have to use the service, but if she does, she knows her seat is ready.

You can call to reserve space for your family right now. The toll free number is 1-866-477-7099 and that line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The buses will leave about 12 hours before mandatory evacuations, and bus riders are allowed to bring two bags each.