This past Sunday FEMA arranged for two multiple bed medical care units to be set up in Meridian. Both were for evacuees.
One was set up at the Naval Air Station, the other at the Sonny Montgomery base. Each has 500 beds and both are equipped to care for evacuees with minor acute care concerns, such as an evacuee who needs oxygen or those who suffer from bed sores. Since that time, only around 20 patients have been checked into the units. So far, all are at the base at NAS. None are on the Air Guard Base.
At this time, unit officials say new evacuees could arrive at any time. However, they have not been informed of anymore coming for now.
Not only that, but along with the units, Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith says FEMA also asked that the city prepare sites to house family members of those evacuees. So far, Mayor Smith says no one has shown up! Why?
"I don't know," says Mayor John Robert Smith. "We're trying to get that word from FEMA or MEMA. The facilities are set up."
The facilities set aside for the families are the Frank Cochran Center and the old Sears Building on 22nd Avenue. With hundreds of other evacuees in the area in need of long term housing, Mayor Smith says the sooner the city knows whether or not these sites set aside for the families are still needed, the better!
"The community has moved very quickly to be responsive already and we either need to know, 'Yes,' they're coming or we need to stand down those sites to be used for other needs!"