WIGGINS, Miss.–Helping Mississippians during a disaster is the goal of the first stand-alone medical needs shelter. The Mississippi Dept. of Health broke ground Thursday in Wiggins. It has a negative-pressure infectious disease isolation room, which is the first of its kind anywhere in the whole country.
The shelter is designed to house Mississippians with medical support needs during an emergency or disaster. It will be built to FEMA 361 standards and should withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour, said a press release from the state health department.
“This facility is truly the first of its kind in the nation,” said MSDH Director of Health Protection Jim Craig. “The layout will make the facility versatile in the type of care that can be provided, and it will contain telehealth capabilities for communications with the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.”
The taxpayer-funded facility will cost $7.7 million.
The 23,416 square-foot shelter will offer shelter to those with medical needs exceeding what could be offered in a general population shelter and is self-sustaining for 36 hours with a backup power source, sewer and water connections.
“The generous officials with Stone County provided the property, which is close to the airport and to the general population shelter during an emergency,” said Craig.
The shelter could be open and available for the 2016 hurricane season.
Funding for the facility is provided through Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds and made possible through partnerships with FEMA, MEMA, and other state and local partners.
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