October 25, 2012 Meeting

The second meeting of the 2012-13 year took place at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. During the meeting, we took a tour of the MEMA facility.

Meeting Minutes

Call to Order
The second NWA/AMS meeting of 2012-2013 year started at 7:10 p.m. and was opened by newly elected NWA President, Joanne Culin. The Chapter meeting was held at Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in Pearl, MS.

The new recording secretary, Eric Carpenter, passed around a sign-in sheet for attendees to sign. 18 people were present, including four officers.

Minutes Approval
Eric summarized minutes from the previous meeting and formally announced Joanne as the new NWA President. We thanked Vincent Webb, former NWA President, for his service during the past couple of years.

New Business
After Joanne opened the meeting, Daniel Lamb, social media/webmaster, provided us with an update on the much improved chapters’ web page. Daniel has spent a lot of time typing in the meeting summaries from past meetings and he requests feedback from members in an effort to improve the page further.

The next order of business was to discuss the November meeting being planned for WJTV. We are waiting for confirmation from WJTV that Nov 15th will be the date for this meeting. Discussion then turned to the possibility of the chapters starting a toy drive for Blair E Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson. This would be conducted in memory of Dr. Loren White’s daughter, Cynthia, who was a patient there. Tony Mastro, WJTV-TV Chief Meteorologist, and John Moore III of the JSU Meteorology Program, both indicated that they may be able to garner interest for a toy drive. Tony suggests that we look for opportunities with Friends of Children’s Hospitals and visit their website at foch.org for more information.

At the conclusion of the business session, Joanne gave the floor to Jeff Rent, MEMA Director for External Affairs. Prior to beginning the tour, Jeff described his duties and the primary mission of MEMA. Jeff is heavily involved with public outreach campaigns, especially those geared toward weather disaster mitigation. MEMA aids local governments and first responders when they are unable to handle disasters on their own. The impressive MEMA facility is 73,000 square feet, and it is comprised of 8 inch steel reinforced concrete walls. It has enough fuel to be run for a week by back-up generator.

After describing the facility, Jeff took the group on a tour of the Media Room, the Joint Information Center, and the Emergency Management Operations Floor. During disasters, the operations floor can become very active as multiple agencies work together under a Unified Command Structure (UCS). Under the UCS, multiple agencies work together within the Incident Command System to form an integrated response team that is better able to maximize resources and enhance efficiency of individual response organizations. During Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, MEMA successfully operated the UCS for the first time.

Jeff encourages everyone to tour the facility and says that MEMA frequently gives tours to groups from as far away as Bangladesh, Bolivia, India, and Germany. The tour ended with a question and answer session, and then we all gave Jeff a hearty round of applause and thanked him for a fantastic tour.

Treasury Report
Following the tour, Jason Brand gave a detailed balance report and then advertised collection of dues. The current treasury balance is $243.00. This is an increase of $120.00 since the last balance report given in September’s meeting.

The meeting concluded at approximately 8:40 pm. The next meeting is expected to be held at WJTV-TV, on the proposed date of November 15th.

Minutes submitted by Eric Carpenter, Recording Secretary.

October 2012 Meeting

Jeff Rent, MEMA Director for External Affairs, talks to the group.

For more pictures from this meeting, click here.

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