Mississippi HUD team boosts relations with Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)

Ray Coleman, MEMA External Affairs Officer, (standing far left) with the Mississippi Field Office staff.

As the height of the hurricane season fast approaches in a state where each year multiple disasters need to be addressed, the support federal and state partners, along with many faith-based groups, nonprofit agencies, volunteers and businesses, can make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities impacted by these calamities.

The HUD Mississippi team values the relationships and clear understanding of our combined efforts to serve the population. To support recovery efforts and promote volunteer opportunities, the HUD team toured MEMA's facility to learn about their operations firsthand.

MEMA's mission is to "coordinate activities that will save lives, protect property, and reduce suffering of Mississippi's citizens and their communities impacted by disasters through a comprehensive and integrated program of disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation initiatives". During times of disaster the HUD team assists this effort by providing information on housing resources, and by supporting at Disaster Recovery Centers or Joint Field Offices when needed.

Disaster Recovery Centers are readily accessible facilities where victims can obtain assistance and information from representatives of federal, state, and local agencies. Joint Field Offices are temporary multi-agency coordination centers established locally to facilitate response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of a disaster. Most recently, Mississippi Field Office Director Jerrie G. Magruder served as the HUD Lead at the Camp Shelby Joint Field Office, established after a tornado hit Hattiesburg and surrounding areas on January 21, 2017.