Forrest County, Hub City prepare ahead of looming storm

Forrest County, Hub City prepare ahead of looming storm

With tropical storm Nate looming in the Caribbean, emergency preparedness plans are underway in the Hub City.

"The city of Hattiesburg has implemented its emergency preparedness plan," said Hattiesburg Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Jones.

Jones said the city has already started marking items off their list in being sure the city is prepared.

"We will continue to stage our emergency fuel, and go over those last-minute checks on generators, staging our emergency response equipment so that its readily available if the need were to arise," Jones said. "Part of our initial plan, is we go through, make sure all of the debris is out of the ditches, storm drains are clear, so that in the event that we do get flash flooding, we can handle that more appropriately."

Officials at Forrest County Emergency Management Agency are doing their part to be prepared as well.

"We're just going through those check lists of stuff that needs to be done," said Emergency Management's Jim Hennessey. "We'll go out to our tower sights, our radio communication tower sights, and make sure that there's nothing lose around there, make sure that the generators run, make sure that there's plenty of fuel."

Jones said city officials will work closely with the Forrest County EMA officials during the storm, and both agencies encourage people to be aware, and be prepared.

"However, things can change and now is a good time to review your personal hurricane check list, make sure that you have supplies, it's better to be over prepared than under prepared," said Hennessey. "Things that we tell folks, is make sure that you have a gallon of water per person per day for drinking, and then I would back it up with a gallon of water per person for flushing toilets, bathing, that kind of stuff."

Forrest County Board of Supervisors President David Hogan said they will also work closely with the EMA officials and encourage people to prepare.

"Citizens need to take this threat seriously and take basic preparedness precautions," said Hogan. "Stock up on water, non-perishables, fuel and batteries, and those in mobile homes should go to a shelter before weather deteriorates."

Hattiesburg City Council will hold a special called meeting at 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, 2017 to adopt a resolution, declaring a state of emergency for the city ahead of the storm.