The Mississippi Gulf Coast is very near and dear to my heart. I lived in Gulfport, MS for seven years before moving to Arkansas. For the seven years of education that I received in Mississippi, five of those discussed hurricanes with regards to Hurricane Camille from 1969. When I found out on Sunday August 27, 2005, that the weather channel was expecting this hurricane to be worse than Camille, I immediately called my best friend in Gulfport and urged her family to get out! She explained that they spent so much money the year before to flee from Ivan and nothing happened, so they were going to wait it out. So that afternoon I drove from my hometown to return to my second week at college. For the next three weeks the talk around campus and in every classroom was about Hurricane Katrina, I couldn\'t escape the reality. Everywhere I turned there were news media being played, food drives, blood drives, and people raising money for the victims. \r\nWhat made me upset was it was all for New Orleans. I know that what happened to New Orleans was a tragedy on a political scale and the effect of what happened there did affect me. My Mom\'s best friend from college and her family stayed at my parents\' house for nearly two months because she was from the New Orleans area. I was unable to return to my house for nearly two months on my first year of college. The hardest hit areas were not even recognized on the news or by any fundraising opportunity in Arkansas. \r\nIt took me three weeks to find relief personally with my friend and her family who decided not to leave. Since the media was not helpful in anyway I found a site where a local from Mississippi would be willing to find information on loved ones or house conditions if you told her the address or the area. So I asked her about the north part of Gulfport and she gave me relief by telling me that the only damage was from a few tornadoes, winds, and there was no power or water. So I felt relieved and allowed myself to believe that my friend took refuge in a neighboring state until power and water returned. A few weeks later I did get a hold of her and she explained that after Hurricane Katrina left they waited a few days for the roads to clear and then they moved into a hotel in Alabama for a little over a month. All of their possessions survived and my mind was finally at ease. \r\nI hope to never have to see another hurricane rip through any part of the country the way that Hurricane Katrina did with the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I cannot even imagine the site that first responders saw when they approached Waveland, MS; also known to me as \"ground zero\" of Katrina, because not one structure was left standing after the surge succeeded. I will forever research about Katrina and soak up any knowledge that I can gain from other people\'s experiences, tragic stories, and stories of their heroes from the months and years that followed. Even though I know that the media highlighted the things that went wrong, I also know that a lot of people stood up and did what they knew was right.\r\n


“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed June 16, 2024,