Gulf Coast Alliance for Response Forum


Preserving life is a number one priority during any emergency but preserving history and culture is also important. Today, emergency response teams and culture preservation agencies from around South Mississippi met to discuss and share plans to save our history during a disaster as well. News 25’s Kristen Durand has more.
We know all too well here on the Coast the damage a disaster can cause. You can never be too prepared for the next one. That’s why emergency response teams from all over South Mississippi joined forces at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi: to get on the same page when it comes to safeguarding our Coast in times of danger. Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said, “We’re prone to stuff happening, we just have to have an all hazard plan and be ready when Mother Nature or a man-made disaster is thrown at us so that we can continue to live here in paradise on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
Of course, with any disaster or emergency, preserving lives is the number one priority but with our rich history here on the Gulf Coast, there’s discussion about preserving our culture as well. Today was the very first Mississippi Gulf Coast Alliance for Response Forum and the first one in the state. Multiple cultural diversity agencies were on hand to make sure they’re on the same page with responders. Harrison County Fire Marshal Pat Sullivan said, “They could go with us into some areas and say that’s important, can we save that, can we get the man power to secure that because we don’t want to see that picked up by a backhoe, put in a garbage truck or put in a dump truck.”
Because losing our vibrant culture and the artifacts that tell our story could be a disaster all its own. Ohr O’Keefe Museum Director Kevin O’Brien said, “If you don’t have your museums, if you don’t have your theaters, if you don’t have your baseball teams, where is your community? And we really are about the community here and that’s what we’re really concerned about saving because if everything’s gone, what do you have?”