The state of emergency declaration for Lauderdale County and the City of Meridian does not mean both entities are expecting the worst, but rather, it enables the governments to be able to respond quickly and legally to any type of emergency. City crews are already making sure the city's drainage system will handle whatever Isaac throws our way.
Tim Miller, director of Meridian Homeland Security and chief administrative officer of the city, describes the steps the city is taking. "What we're doing right now, we've got our public works crews out. They're cleaning some of our storm drains out. Some of our fire fighters and other people will be doing that too. We asking citizens if there are some in front of their houses or near their houses, if they will, go ahead and help us with that so it will expedite our crews to do other things."
For Lauderdale County Emergency Management officials, this is the time to make sure everyone knows what they will need to do in the event of an emergency.
David Sharp, LEMA director, tells us, "We're just trying to make sure everyone's aware of what's going on. Everybody's on the same page with it, and we've got everybody checking over their emergency action plans to make sure they're ready if their function is called out, they're ready to go."
With city fire fighters sharpening chainsaws and other agencies making preparations, the city is also urging residents to make sure they have any supplies they will need.
"One of the things we talk about on any event like this, whether it be snow, whether it be ice, whither it be this type of event, make sure you've got water. Make sure you've got food. Make sure you know where your insurance papers are. Make sure if there are medicines to be gotten that you've got those medicines, and make sure you keep a little cash with you in case electricity's out and you have to buy something and the electronic parts aren't working in some of these stores," says Miller.
For a complete checklist of hurricane preparedness items, visit our hurricane page under the weather tab.
The state of Mississippi has opened a call center for residents who have general questions about Tropical Storm Isaac. The number is 1-866-519-6362 (toll free).