STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) — Members of the Mississippi State University Campus Emergency Response Team and the Maroon Volunteer Center held a personal readiness and emergency preparation program for the public on Friday.
"When you're in a disaster, the best tool you have is to know how to think through the disaster," said a presenter at Friday's seminar.
Dozens of North Mississippians came to Mississippi State's Bost Extension Center to learn how to prepare before, during and after disasters like the tornadoes of April 27, 2011.
"I live in the community of Montpelier in Clay County, and we were hit by an F3 tornado last year, and we would like to know how to be better prepared," replied Donna Cliett, who attended the seminar.
On a bright, sunny day, the last thing on most people's minds would be a disaster, but according to organizers, the time to prepare for a disaster is well before one happens.
"What we're doing here today is trying to educate the public on different types of situations, different types of scenarios and let them ask us questions that pertain specifically to them and things they may have concerns over," said Mark McCurdy of the Starkville Fire Department.
But he added that there are no perfect scenarios when it comes to disasters and that's why planning is necessary.
"Personal preparedness is always the key," said Wes Andrews, the disaster preparedness officer at OCH Regional Medical Center.
"The more unique your situation, the more unique your plan needs to be," Andrews continued.
Organizers of the event were two Mississippi State organizations consisting of students and faculty who say they are ready to answer the call of the next local disaster.
"We've got basically two functions, two essential functions. We have a reactive function so that if we have an event here on campus, we've got 26 faculty, staff and graduate students who have volunteered their time, gone through the training, have the advanced skills to be able to help out in the immediate while law enforcement are coming to campus to help out, and we can assist them once they get here as well," said Ryan Akers of the Campus Emergency Response Team at MSU.
"It's really important that we continue to take steps and take the initiative to make sure that there is safety and procedures that we follow in our community," said Chris Ferrell of the Maroon Volunteer Center, another campus organization.