BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – The Mississippi National Guard (MSNG) is supporting state and local emergency management authorities assisting people along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Zeta.Zeta made landfall as a Category 2 storm in Cocodrie, Louisiana, Oct. 28. This storm proved more intense and powerful than most weather reports predicted. Hurricane Zeta wreaked havoc on Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast communities with high winds, storm surges and flooding, power outages and damage to homes and businesses.Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Oct. 28. President Donald Trump approved the disaster declaration on the same day, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide water, food, tarps, hand sanitizer and masks.Col. Jody Mike Smith, MSNG director of military support, said the Guard worked closely with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and local emergency officials."We were able to direct our actions in a timely manner and affect a very rapid response," Smith said, adding that Guard members were "proud to serve fellow citizens and assist as needed, and they will be here as long as the job takes."MSNG members were assisting at five distribution sites opened by MEMA in Hancock and Harrison Counties."We are providing aid, much needed aid, to the people impacted by Hurricane Zeta. As a Gulf Coast resident myself, I feel excited and honored to help these people, my neighbors," said Sgt. Derrick Woulard of Gulfport, an infantryman assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team.Guard members activated for Hurricane Zeta response represent the 184th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, headquartered in Monticello, the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, headquartered in Tupelo, and the 890th Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Gulfport, and the 106th Brigade Support Battalion, headquartered in Laurel.Guard members helped with logistics, transportation, distribution of supplies, and traffic control."We are providing the basic necessities: food, water and shelter," said 1st Sgt. David Bernardi, with Company B, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team. "We are doing what the National Guard is meant to do: provide assistance to the state of Mississippi in times of need. MEMA planned and facilitated these distributions, and we are helping with the execution of their plan."Spc. Jessie Pursell, an infantryman assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion 155th Infantry Regiment, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, directed traffic at a distribution site."I joined the Guard to support my family and country, and that is what I am doing here," Pursell said.FEMA is providing an estimated 210,000 meals, 30,000 tarps and 290,000 bottles of water.Related Humanitarian National Guard Worldwide News