Staying Prepared For Disaster

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Columbus, Miss. (WCBI) — 10 years ago Saturday, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, leaving many families devastated and searching for answers.

Joe Lukas, the logistic lead for the North Mississippi branch of the American Red Cross, says the organization learned a lot from the storm and has taken steps to provide the best safety it can.

“There are emergency response vehicles in 3 strategic locations, we have 5 trailers that are located in 5 strategic locations…”, explained Lukas, “…we have some other structures that we use in conjunction with emergency management associations or county offices…to have supplies ready and handily available so that we’re not covering areas of distance. It’s a matter of 30 minutes and we can probably get you some help right away.”

While the Red Cross is doing all they can to keep people safe, a lot can be done by individuals to prepare for any disaster.

The Salvation Army Commanding Officer Alan Phillips says to take evacuation warnings seriously.

“Those who are going to wait it out, we saw so many families that died [during Hurricane Katrina] because they stayed in their homes and…the water kept going up and they drowned.”

Phillips says to make sure to stock up on basic preparation items like canned foods as well as things like bottled water and protein bars.

He also said it is very important to acquire a NOAA weather battery-operated radio to stay updated on crucial information when cell towers collapse or a power outage.

“Have a family plan…”, stressed Phillips, “…have a place you’re going to meet with your family and just simple things like that and just making preparations
And both men gave one piece of advice to be sure of when it comes to preparation.

Hurricane Katrina was the first disaster in which the Red Cross served 1 million meals in a single day.

For more disaster preparation tips from the Salvation Army, visit their website at

Categories: Local News, State News

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