STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) — Around 70 students from Columbus Middle School spent the day using geographic information systems at Mississippi State University.
The purpose of the field trip was for students to better understand the impact hurricanes and natural disasters have on their home state.
"We just learned about how effective floods can be," said Mary Williams, a student at Columbus Middle School. "I really thought that if you had a flood that you can evacuate quickly, but now I understand that it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of looking into."
A key component to National GIS Day, in addition to learning about hurricanes and other natural disasters, is learning valuable safety tips. The students could take home those tips to share with their families in the event of a natural disaster.
"You just have to be really prepared," added Kobed Dismukes, a student at Columbus Middle School. "Just watch the news and just be focused and have things stored up and have gas in your car all that good stuff."
Those who study natural disasters said more lives would be saved if people would properly adhere to the warnings, especially those who live along or near the coastline.
"A lot of people and a lot of deaths in the natural distasters are because people don't take the data that you give them seriously," added Calista Guthrie, a staff member at MSU. "They don't know what to do with the data or how to respond whenever they get notification from news people about what to do in the event of a natural disaster."
This marked MSU's ninth annual participation in GIS Day. The activities were scheduled nationwide as part of Geography Awareness Week.