Sept. 11 Homeland grants improve Miss response

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi officials say that Homeland Security grants after Sept. 11, 2011, helped the state prepare to handle Hurricane Katrina and other emergencies.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://bit.ly/p5vbH2) that Mississippi has received more than $455 million since 9/11.

A year before the hurricane hit in 2005, the state got a mobile command unit — an oversized RV equipped with sophisticated equipment that allows communication with federal, state and local officials.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Mike Womack says it was in place and helping to coordinate the response a dozen hours after Katrina made landfall. It was used again in April, after a tornado tore down most of the town of Smithville.

Womack says much of the money was used for basic response equipment, and some went for training.