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MS Forestry Commission worker helping with Harvey

Courtesy of Department of Defense, credit: Lt. Zachary West

Hurricane Harvey is continuing to wreck havoc for the people of Texas, but Mississippians are sending some of their best to help with the relief effort.

“Bill Kitchings is Supply unit leader working with FEMA and the Texas Forestry service he went to a staging area in College Station, Texas and will most likely be there for the next two to three weeks.

Kitchings said his unit is acting as a staging area for necessities to be brought to and then loaded on to trucks which will then be distributed by relief workers.

“Truck loads of ice, water, tarps, diapers, any thing like that, will come in to the staging area and then we will get orders to send it out to the PODS or points of distribution across the affected area of the hurricane,” said Kitchings.

Kitchings said there is one good thing about helping with the relief effort.

“This also provides us training too,” said Kitchings. “On the job training for any kind of a critical incident that we may have come up in Mississippi.”

Kitchings is a member of the southern area blue team. It is a type 1 incident management team.

“Any time there is a big incident, like a hurricane, a fire or anything like that they can activate those teams and bring them in,” said Kitchings. “This is something that the forestry commission and the state of Mississippi allows us to participate in. We go anywhere in the United States.”

While Kitchings said he is just doing his job, he also views it as a way to pay some people back for helping Mississippi get through Hurricane Katrina.

“It hasn’t been that long since Katrina hit our coast,” said Kitchings. “We had everybody from all over the United States helping us so this is really just another way that Mississippi can give back and that we can give back helping other areas and other states.”

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