Cities should be prepared for a natural disaster

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 26, 2018

No one can be completely prepared for a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado. Scientists can use radars and other high-tech systems to determine if a tornado is forming, or if a hurricane is going to come into the Gulf of Mexico. But it is impossible to predict exactly how a weather phenomenon will act once it hits land.

When Hurricane Katrina struck the coast, no one was prepared for the destruction and need for rebuilding it would bring. Countless people refused to evacuate thinking that the storm wouldn’t affect them as bad as it did. But many along the coastal areas ended up having to be evacuated from their homes, at times from rooftops. Others expected heavy rain but not flooding, so valuable items in homes and businesses were left at floor-level and destroyed by six, seven, or even 10 feet of water.

It has been nearly 13 years since hurricane Katrina, and thankfully there has not been another storm quite like it to hit the gulf. However, keep in mind that major storms affect this area of the country about every 10 to 20 years.

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Thursday morning community leaders and heads of several public departments met at the Pearl River County Emergency Management Agency to discuss how they would respond when another storm like Katrina makes landfall in our area.

During the meeting, water management, shelter availability, donation management, wide-scale communication availability and several other disaster related topics were discussed. The meeting was only one of many in which scenarios will be played out and potential complications overcome.

While it is impossible to predict the impact a natural disaster will have on a particular area, cities and communities within Pearl River County should continue to plan for a disaster before it happens.