City officials say Pine Belt is prepared for catastrophic events

City officials say Pine Belt is prepared for catastrophic events

PINE BELT (WDAM) - People in the Pine Belt are no stranger to powerful hurricanes.

It has been 11 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, leaving a path of destruction in her wake.

While the Pine Belt is not seeing any effects from Hurricane Matthew, it serves as a reminder of what can happen.

Jones County Emergency Management Director Marda Tullos said the county is more prepared for future disasters.

"We have generators at city buildings, at courthouses and city hall," Tullos said. "We have more safe rooms and volunteer fire departments in other areas."

C Spire Wireless also said it is prepared. The company has two new hurricane ready "super switches" to ensure continued communications for its customers in South Mississippi, Gulf Coast and Alabama.

"You definitely want to be able to communicate with your loved ones that you are OK, and then as well as response teams to get help if any help is needed," C-Spire Market Manager Reginald Townsend said.

The "super switches" are designed to withstand a category 5 hurricane and wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour.

"If services do go down, we have something available on the back end for our customers as well as emergency response teams," Townsend said.

Even though Hurricane Matthew is not in the Gulf, Tullos said hurricane season is not over for 2016.

"We've still got the rest of October and all the way through November so anything can happen," Tullos said.

Tullos said the best time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins. She said it is important to get supplies, non-perishable foods, water and medicine that will last at least a week.