The 2018 Mississippi Partners and Preparedness Summit wrapped up this afternoon and the main topic was hurricane preparedness.
“As we enter into the 2018 hurricane season, we must be prepared for the potential for a catastrophic storm impacting our state.”
State and local officials are urging residents to prepare now for hurricane season. MEMA Executive Director Lee Smithson said, “So, we want everyone to be prepared for a Katrina, not a Nate. Have a kit and have a plan.”
And as those in the path of Hurricane Andrew know all too well, it only takes one storm to wreak devastation across hundreds of miles and several states as witnessed back in 1992. NWS New Orleans Lead Forecaster Frank Revitte said, “The first storm of the year didn’t form until August. Hit Florida as a category five hurricane, came into the gulf. We had a category three in the Gulf that eventually hit Louisiana so that’s a good example of a very quiet year, yet we had a major hurricane hitting the Coast line.”
While preparing for hurricane season should happen months before a storm impacts the area, it’s important to plan for your pet just as you would your family. If you can’t evacuate with your pet there are other options. Harrison County EMA Director Rupert Lacy said, “We understand that there are people who will not evacuate because of their pets. After Katrina, we got to the point we do have pet friendly shelters.”
Whether you’re evacuating with your fur family or heading to a shelter, remember to pack a pet disaster kit with food, important papers, a backup collar and leash, and cleaner for pet sanitation needs. “That pet is just like you. You’ve gotta bring food. They’ve gotta be kenneled,” said Lacy.
It’s up to you to know if your closest shelter allows pets. “It really starts and ends with the citizens, so we’re just asking them again to start working on a blue sky day, what you’re going to do once the sky clouds up,” said Smithson.