MDOT urges coastal residents to plan for hurricanes

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HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Hurricane season is officially underway and the Mississippi Department of Transportation is urging South Mississippi residents to prepare now.

“Hurricane season is well underway and we’ve already had a tropical system hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast. That just shows why it’s important to stay prepared by having an evacuation plan already in place,” said Commissioner Tom King, Southern Transportation District.

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The 2020 MDOT Hurricane Evacuation Guide is an essential resource and just a click away. Order a free copy today at GoMDOT.com/hurricanes. Guides are available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Also available are children’s hurricane activity books, state maps, and more.

The Hurricane Evacuation Guide features information to assist in developing a preparedness plan such as evacuation routes, contraflow information, radio coverage areas through Mississippi Public Broadcasting and important contact information from the Mississippi Highway Patrol, American Red Cross, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and bordering state DOTs and highway patrols. Individuals and families will find vital information about shelters, pet care, lodging and travel resources.

Residents should plan where to stay in the event of an evacuation. Hotel rooms near evacuated areas may not be available, so residents are encouraged to plan to stay with family or friends not in the affected area when possible. It’s vital that residents let family, friends and neighbors know their evacuation plans to make it easier to get in touch with them if needed.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, residents should also plan to pack the necessary items needed for their protection. Face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and disinfecting wipes are a few supplies people can add to their survival kits to help keep everyone safe. Residents should also check their evacuation destinations for any regulations related to the pandemic.

“By planning early residents can avoid making hasty plans that may not be the best to ensure the safety of them or their family,” said King.

If a hurricane does strike, MDOT first responders are prepared to immediately clear debris and inspect state-maintained routes for emergency responders and residents to ensure transportation returns to normal as quickly as possible.

For up to date traffic information, visit MDOTtraffic.com or like and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and Twitter.