Hancock Co. EOC To Get $1 Million In Federal Funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLOX) - Hancock County will receive $1 million in federal assistance for its Emergency Operations Center (EOC), U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker announced Wednesday.

The money will help Hancock County officials move their emergency operations center to a safer location.

The county's former emergency operations headquarters was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.  During Hurricane Gustav, approximately 200 officials packed into the County's temporary Emergency Operations Center at the old Valena C. Jones School.

County leaders have already chosen a site for the new EOC, and told WLOX News last week that the wait for federal funding was the biggest roadblock.

"Hurricane Gustav served as a reminder of the importance of preparation and organization during disaster situations," Senator Cochran said. "Hancock County officials should be commended for their excellent work despite the condition of their temporary facility. As Hurricane Ike bears down on the Gulf of Mexico, we are acutely aware that these storms will continue to have an impact on our state. I am pleased this federal funding will be used to update the county's facility, which is so critical to our state's preparation and response."

"Last week I had the opportunity to tour Hancock County's EOC and saw first-hand the difficult conditions county officials have to work in," Senator Wicker said.  "As Hurricane Gustav reminded us, it is critically important for Mississippi's Gulf Coast to always be prepared, especially during hurricane season.  These funds will go a long way to help Hancock County move their emergency operations center to a safer location that ensures they can continue to respond effectively during the next storm or emergency."