A month of memories and observances

Residents and business owners throughout Biloxi on Tuesday began receiving the city’s annual Storm & Flood Preparedness guide, kicking off a month of public outreach efforts to commemorate the anniversaries of two killer storms.

It was on Aug. 17, 1969 when a Category 5 Hurricane Camille devastated Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and 36 years later, on Aug. 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, leveling the same communities.

Each year, the City of Biloxi undertakes a public outreach effort to educate residents about the dangers of storms and flooding, and the steps they can take to prepare.

This year’s activities began several weeks ago, when notices were mailed citywide about the benefits of having flood insurance, and targeted notices were sent to residents of the flood zone, which officially expanded in May.

The bulk of the activities this year, however, are taking place in August, typically the height of hurricane season.

The 12-page Storm & Flood Preparedness guide, arriving in all homes and businesses by today, includes a storm tracking map; information on evacuation routes and shelters; tips on how to create a storm plan for your family; frequently called numbers for local, state and federal agencies; and easy-to-understand information about the city’s construction permitting process.

The guide — printed by Knight-Abbey Printing and Direct Mail of Biloxi and delivered to more than 22,000 postal customers in Biloxi — also includes a map that shows the dramatic increase in the size of the flood zones in the city, along with information for Spanish and Vietnamese audiences.

The publication satisfies one of the city’s responsibilities as a member of the National Flood Insurance Program — to help property owners reduce the risks associated with storms and flooding. As a result of the city’s efforts, Biloxians qualify for flood-insurance discounts of as much as 20 percent.

To see your online version of Storm & Flood Preparedness, click here.

Camille events

The city also has several events planned for the 40th anniversary of Hurricane Camille, which takes place on Monday.

Bill Read, the director of the National Hurricane Center, will speak about Camille and the advances in hurricane forecasting during a noon luncheon at the Biloxi Community Center. Thanks to Beau Rivage, all proceeds from the $5 tickets will be used to improve landscaping at the site of the Camille memorial at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

At 5:30 Monday afternoon, the memorial will be the site of the annual Camille observance.

And to mark the 40th anniversary of Camille, the city and Cable One are resurrecting the documentary “A Lady Called Camille” and airing it Monday at 8:30 a.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Cable 13.

To see a postcard about the luncheon and “Camille” cablecast, click here.

To see an online gallery of photos from Hurricane Camille, click here.

Katrina observances

Several city and community events are scheduled to mark the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which is on Saturday, Aug. 29.

On Friday, Aug. 28, the Catholic churches of east Biloxi will conduct the fourth annual Katrina walk. Transportation will be provided from St. Michael’s to Our Mother of Sorrows at 4 p.m. The walk will begin at 5 p.m. from Our Mother of Sorrows and end at St. Michael’s at 8 p.m. Prayer will be at Blessed Seelos and the Vietnamese Martyrs Church.

The city will hold a Katrina memorial observance on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8 a.m. on the Biloxi Town Green.

The 30-minute ceremony, which will involve several clergy members, will be capped by the unveiling of Marlin’s marlin, a Marlin Miller sculpture created from a standing dead oak on the north side of the Town Green, near the Katrina memorial.

And, finally, the city and Cable One will air “Katrina & Biloxi,” the city’s award-winning documentary on Cable One Cable 13 at 8:30 a.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

To see a postcard about the “Katrina & Biloxi” cablecast, click here.

To see the city’s online Katrina section, which includes photos and video, click here.

Related info online

You can see maps that detail the impact of revisions to the flood zone in Biloxi by clicking here.

You can hear background on the factors that guide FEMA in determining flood elevations in various communities by clicking here.

You can see real-time radar from a number of National Weather Service radar stations along the Gulf of Mexico through the city’s web site. To visit the radar site, click here.