Harrison County remembers Hurricane Katrina

State and local officials gathered today in Harrison County to remember Hurricane Katrina. Since then, the Coast and community is stronger and emergency action plans are ready to go.

August 29th, 2005 is a day that most knew would be remembered forever before Hurricane Katrina even slammed into the Coast. Now, 13 years later, we continue to remember the costliest storm in U.S. history by building back smarter and being more prepared than ever. MEMA Executive Director Greg Michel said, “The tragedy behind the tragedy here would be that we not learn from our experiences with the storm. I think one of the biggest things we get not only from this natural disaster, this tragedy, any natural disaster is that that you should always be prepared.”

One thing that hasn’t changed since 2005 is the importance of being prepared before a storm threatens the area. Harrison County Emergency Services Director Rupert Lacy said, “This is that time before we get into the heighten season to ensure that you have your kit, that three to five days, that kit ready to go if we had to talk about evacuations for any type of major storm that could impact us.”

With many empty lots and slabs you don’t have to look hard to still see the scars from Hurricane Katrina, but with lessons learned from 13 years ago officials hope to soon see those scars disappear. “The standards that we’re building structures back to now are much more resilient to this type of weather and I would never say anything to discourage any type of economic development or construction on the Coast,” said Michel.

As the Coast continues to build back smarter and stronger, we must be prepared for the next disaster. “When we think we have it all worked out, something is thrown at us and we just have to adapt, think outside the box and be prepared. As we did 13 years ago, put a hat on, get that dazed look out of our face and start building back what we know is home,” said Lacy.

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