Mississippians Asked to Prepare for Severe Weather

Contributor: Rachael Thomas
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Updated: 4/02/2014 2:42 pm
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (M.E.M.A.) and the National Weather Service (N.W.S.) are asking residents to prepare for the possibility of severe weather Wednesday night, and especially Thursday night.

Wednesday night there is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms and hail in the northwest part of the state. Thursday night through Friday is the most significant risk with the possibility of strong tornadoes, damaging straight-line winds, heavy rainfall, and hail.

“The Spring storm season is upon us, and there appears to be a significant outbreak possible Thursday night,” said M.E.M.A. Executive Director Robert Latham. “What concerns me even more is this will be an evening and overnight event, so our citizens need to know how they will receive warnings and what their emergency plan is now.”

The N.W.S. says that storms may linger in areas for longer than normal, resulting in multiple episodes of severe storms and also causing heavy rainfall and flooding.

Many weather related deaths and injuries occur after people have gone to bed. The best way to receive severe weather notifications is with a N.O.A.A. weather radio with a battery backup. The weather radio sounds an audible alert when a warning is issued for an area.

In addition to a N.O.A.A. weather radio, residents should monitor their local media for any forecast updates.

M.E.M.A. and the N.W.S. recommend you take the following steps:

-Have a family emergency plan.
-If a tornado threatens, go to the lowest level of your home and shelter in the most interior room, like a closet or bathroom and cover with pillows or blankets.
-Residents in mobile homes or manufactured housing should have a safe place to wait out the severe weather.
-When riding in a vehicle never attempt to outrun a tornado. You should abandon the vehicle and get into a nearby sturdy structure.
-If you encounter flood covered roads, remember the phrase, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”
-Check and restock your emergency supply kit in case you are without electricity for an extended period of time.

For information about how to be prepared for severe weather, go to M.E.M.A.’s website at www.msema.org or download the M.E.M.A. mobile app on your iOS or Android device.

The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” M.E.M.A. on Facebook or “Follow” us on Twitter.
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