Disaster Response

The Response Office is divided into the Operations and Communications sections of MEMA, which jointly operate as the state’s 24-hour warning point.

The Operations Section is responsible for coordinating support for state and local response in an all-hazards concept. These responsibilities include:

  • Alert and notification of an event.
  • Activate the State Emergency Operations Center.
  • Coordinate all Emergency Support Functions.
  • Establish priorities for the allocation of resources.
  • Maintain operational control of the State Emergency Response Team.
  • Maintain operational control of the Mobile Operations Center.
  • Maintain operational control of the Disaster Reconnaissance Team.
  • Maintain operational control of the communications/state warning point.

The Operations Branch also supports damage assessment after an event and assists with the transition to the recovery phase. All of these functions are directed toward the goal of minimizing the risk and affect to people, property and the environment.

The Communications Section is the designated state warning point. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Communications Section has the responsibility of alerting state and local officials to all natural or man-made incidents throughout the state. These alerts include severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or hazardous materials incidents.

Communications capabilities include satellite, low band and UHF radios. A computerized alphanumeric paging system and wireless e-mail devices allow for rapid notification of all MEMA personnel, as well as personnel in all 82 counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Through MEMA, the National Alert Warning System has been increased to 100 locations that include federal, state and local jurisdictions. A high-speed digital fax system has enhanced the ability to rapidly communicate essential information to the field.

The use of Web EOC, a web based incident management and tracking software system, extends the SEOC to all 82 counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The system allows for the immediate tracking of resources, requests and personnel for any events that affect the state.

For more information about the Office of Response, contact MEMA Deputy Director Kent Buckley at (601) 933-6882 or kbuckley@mema.ms.gov.