DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Whether it be for severe storms, tornadoes or floods, DeSoto County has put the finishing touches on a plan detailing how the county responds to a disaster.
Not only does the plan protect lives, but the county's Emergency Management Agency says it brings in big bucks.
"Here in the Mid-South if you don't like the weather today just hang around, it will be different tomorrow," says Timothy Curtis, the EMA's deputy director.
That's why on a beautiful sunny day, Curtis is thinking of how bad the weather can get.
"We're looking at flooding, windstorms, ice storms and the such," he says. "We have to look at winter weather as well as tornadoes and rain. We really don't have a particular focus on just one event."
So the county looks at them all, and puts together what's called a "Hazard Mitigation Plan," basically how every city would respond during a disaster.
"Everybody is on the same page as far as our planning goes," he tells abc24.com. From Walls to Hernando, Horn Lake, Southaven and Olive Branch, "We're better equipped to respond, but the purpose is not really to concentrate on our ability to respond. It's on our ability to reduce the loss of life and the loss of property," Curtis says.
The county gets federal money from FEMA for having a plan in place. Cities can use the cash to install storm shelters or improve their warning systems. Curtis calls that a win-win.
"It's in the 100 to 150,000 dollar range each year just for participating," he says.
DeSoto County has had this plan for ten years. Every five years, they evaluate the whole thing to see what can be improved.