Emergency response still improving after Katrina

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Nine years after Hurricane Katrina Mississippi emergency response teams continue to improve.

According to the Executive Director of Emergency Management District Terry Steed, emergency response teams have learned to be better prepared.

The Director of Public Safety for Forrest General Hospital said that "when things are bad and we are being challenged, we pull together as a community to find a way to resolve it [our problems] to everybody's best interest."

Steed said that to improve emergency responses their preparation check-lists went from two pages to around 20 pages and a digital radio system that enables all the state agencies has been established.

During the first week of June every year state agencies join together for a workshop on hurricane preparedness, according to Steed.

Forrest General Hospital has re-evaluated how to be better prepared.

According to Wayne Landers, the director of public safety for Forrest General Hospital, a 750,000 gallon water tower has been built and three thousand KW generators were bought to run emergency systems in case the generator plant fails.

Katrina made landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast August 29th, 2005 as a category 3 with 124 mile per hour winds.

Devastation from the storm caused the death of 232 Mississippians and billions of dollars of damage to businesses, home and infrastructure, according to MEMA Director Robert Latham.