NancyKay Wessman’s Katrina work began after the search and rescue, after the response, and well into the recovery and initial rebuilding phase. She first saw the infinite void Katrina left — miles and miles of emptiness westward from Highway 49 in Gulfport to the Bay of Saint Louis and beyond — in January 2007, two years after.


Many who shouldered responsibilities within the EOC and outsiders who worked their way inside to help in the aftermath shared their stories with Wessman. Those champions had been waiting for the opportunity to tell their stories.

Katrina, Mississippi showcases heroes and their work from the epicenter of preparedness, response, rescue, recovery, and rebuilding. This account weaves their individual stories into a timeline that unveils the public health impact of both the natural disaster and the unnatural consequences that emerged through human efforts. The book reveals personal recollections of health and medical aspects, special needs victims and mass care through sheltering, pop-up medical clinics, and the sole hospital that withstood the storm and continued providing services. The book introduces characters who addressed issues related to food and water, sewers, volunteers, donations, and other emergency support functions.