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Posted 8/29/2008 Printable Fact Sheet

Retirees Must Plan For Off-base Sheltering

Limited space at Keesler requires military retirees to seek shelter off-base if a hurricane threatens south Mississippi. "Several years ago, the base was able to provide sheltering on a space-available basis for retirees, but that's no longer the case," said Lonnie Arnold, director of the retiree activities program. "Facilities and space are now limited and Keesler can no longer offer shelter to the large number of retirees and family members in the three coastal counties. "Retirees should first attempt to seek shelter outside the immediate area," Mr. Arnold added. "If you're unable to leave the area, local Civil Defense offices will announce shelters through the media." Crowded conditions in base shelters during Hurricane Katrina last August and Hurricane Georges in 1998 have forced Keesler to scrutinize its disaster preparedness plan and rethink space allocations. Base shelters don't have adequate space to protect the entire base population, so only mission-essential personnel and students will shelter at Keesler if another hurricane targets south Mississippi.

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