JACKSON, Miss (WJTV) — Mississippi leaders say Hurricane Katrina taught them how to prepare for natural disasters early.
Hurricane Matthew is the cause of heavy flooding, power outages, and deaths in Haiti. More than 500 have died in Haiti and officials fear that number will rise.
When Matthew made landfall, it was a Category 4 Hurricane.
Hurricane Katrina is one of the deadliest and most expensive disasters in U.S. History. There were a lot of lessons learned.
Now, Mission Ready Packages are in place. These plans are made for responses. Like Florida, right now three Mississippi National Guard helicopters are on standby.
Former Director of Military Support for the National Guard during Katrina and current MEMA Director Lee Smithson said the recovery efforts for Katrina were disjointed. Now, they’re working to stay ahead of storms.
“We’ve got power companies coming from Texas, Louisiana, certainly Mississippi, Alabama trying to get in and get staged so that they’re there stringing power lines as soon as the wind stops blowing which is a huge difference in,” he said.
“We learned a lot of lessons the hard way and we just want to make sure that other states don’t learn the same lessons that we learned,” said Smithson.
Mississippi also has 19 officers with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on standby to go to Florida, in case search and rescue efforts are needed.