Be prepared this hurricane season

Published 12:53 am Sunday, June 8, 2008

Coastal residents, logically, are the ones most threatened by hurricanes. Being a couple hundred miles from the coast here in the Miss-Lou we don’t feel the full impact hurricanes can bring ashore.

But as most of you know there is enough power still packed in these to bring destruction hundreds of miles inland. Fierce storms, strong winds, heavy rains and tornados are very common as these hurricanes make there way though our area. Days and even weeks without power would not be uncommon.

This takes me back to my original question. Are you prepared? When a hurricane watch is in place, do you fill your vehicle with gas? Or do you wait and get in line when a hurricane warning has been issued and the price is even more astronomical?

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Do you go down to the store and stock up on some nonperishable foods? Or do you wait and get in line and find the shelves empty?

I could go on and on but I think you get the point, don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t wait and hope others will step forward and provide you assistance. Be proactive and buy a couple cans of your favorite soup, pick up an extra gallon of water, again I believe you understand the message here.

Rather than going on and on about it here I’ll just recommend some good Web sites that have lots of information concerning protecting you and your loved ones. Surf though, and for some excellent advice on how to prepare your family. Or stop by our office at 201 South Wall St. and pick up some fliers.

Hurricane season did start June 1 for those who missed it.

Now for some other items that need to be cleared off my desk:

Liberty Road Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting the Mississippi State Fire Academy instructing “Training Responding and Returning Alive,” June 16, 17 and 19 starting at 6 p.m. each day. The dates were changed from the originally planned dates because of a change of the instructor. You don’t have to be a firefighter to enjoy this training, the general public is invited and encouraged to attend. Come out and meet those that volunteer their time to protect you.

Adams County Emergency Management Agency recently hosted the National Weather Service presenting a Storm Spotters course. We would like to thank those that took part in this very informative and entertaining presentation. We were very impressed with the turnout and have already talked to the National Weather Service about returning sometimes in the fall season. We would also like to thank Co-Lin Community College for the use of their excellent facilities.

Adams County EMA is also preparing to perform a Certified Volunteer Firefighter course countywide. This is currently a 48 hour course that can be trained locally with testing done at the Mississippi State Fire Academy. The dates for this training have yet to be set but will be open to anyone registered with any fire department.

Adams County EMA is also planning to conduct Community Emergency Response Team training for our local Adams County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team. This is another fine volunteer organization that continues to assist our community. C.E.R.T. team members are prepared to respond to local disasters that impact their neighborhood or workplace. More information about C.E.R.T. can be found at

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the new fire chief of the Foster Mound Volunteer Fire Department; Chief Eddie Ray was elected by the members of FMVFD when I resigned the position after accepting the position of Adams County’s EMA director along with the responsibilities of the county fire coordinator. He joins some good company with the other VFD Chiefs, Donald Johnson — Kingston VFD; Keith Smith — Lake Montrose VFD and B.L. Calcote — Liberty Road VFD.

Our office would also like to thank The Natchez Democrat, particularly reporter Adam Koob for the assistance they have provided our office over the past few months.

Now to some personal notes.

My first three months of service to the Citizens of Adams County have, to say the least, been busy. We’ve seen one of the highest Mississippi River levels ever recorded, one of the most active severe weather seasons on record and even had a few barges decide they were going to hit a bridge, head south and play bumper cars along the way.

To say I hit the ground running is an understatement. My joke a couple of months ago was, “Give me some time until my feet get wet” then here rises the Mississippi River.

My joke last month was “Give me some time until my feet get dry.” Last week my joke was “Give me some time until my feet hit the ground.” Three months behind me and I believe your new Adams County Emergency Management Agency is about to plant some cleats on the ground.

Now, let’s go back to the original question. Are you prepared? Being prepared starts at home but being prepared and helping others when they aren’t, makes you sleep well at night. If you want to assist any of the VFD’s, Search and Rescue, Red Cross or any of the other organizations that protect your community, give us a call at 601-442-7021.

Stan Owens Jr. is Adams County Emergency Management director and Adams County Fire coordinator.