Barry was a good dry-run for Harrison County emergency managers

Barry was a good dry-run for Harrison County emergency managers
Harrison County Emergency Management Agency Director Rupert Lacy listens to comments during a meeting to discuss tropical system Barry response. (Source: John Fitzhugh)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Harrison County has one of the most experienced teams of emergency managers in the state, but there is always room to learn.

Some of those managers gathered Friday to look at what went right with their response to Hurricane Barry, but more importantly, what could be done better.

Several participants expressed a worry that South Mississippi may become complacent after three storms that have not lived up to forecasters’ expectations. That complacency could affect first responders, too.

“We have a lot of experience, but depending on what that particular tropical system does or big rain event or whatever it may be is that if we don’t learn, then we too become complacent," said Rupert Lacy, Harrison County Emergency Management Director. "In the end, we don’t want to lose any life, and that’s one of our key things is trying to protect everybody, be it the responders, be it the citizens and those guests that are in Harrison County during that time period.”

Lacy said Barry was an unusual storm that was difficult to predict and every storm is different, requiring a unique approach to their preparations.

It’s all about being ready for the next event, he said.

“We live here in paradise, we know we’ll have another event sooner or later," he said.

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