MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - As winter begins to leave Mississippi, it is now time to prepare for severe weather. This week is Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
In the past, the months of March, April and May have brought about the greatest threat of severe weather to the state of Mississippi. Because of this, Governor Phil Bryant declared the days of Feb. 19-23 as such.
"As we transition into the spring season, we must be aware of the potentially dangerous swings in our weather patterns here," said Gov. Bryant. "I encourage all Mississippians to be prepared and have a plan, as severe weather can strike quickly."
According to the National Weather Service, last year was the fourth most active year for tornadoes in the state since 1950.
The National Weather Service will issue a statewide test tornado warning on NOAA weather radios at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Schools, government agencies and businesses throughout the state are encouraged to participate in the tornado drill.
Also, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will be giving away weather radios this week.
"I cannot stress enough the importance of getting out mobile homes and limiting travel during severe weather," said MEMA Director Lee Smithson. "Now is the time to talk to your family about your plan and where your safe place is."
Tips from MEMA on Severe Weather Preparedness:
- Have a fully-stock disaster supply kit (Items should include things such as flashlights, First Aid Kit, blankets, phone charger, water, etc.)
- Develop a home evacuation plan. If a disaster happens near your home, know where you and your family would go, what you and your family would do and how you and your family would do it.
- Practice. Take time out to practice the plan with everyone in the home. Everyone should know what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency.
- Listen to the radio or TV for information.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters or board up your windows, secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level of the building.
- Avoid places with wide-span roofs, such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
- Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family.
- If told to evacuate your home, do so immediately.
- Never drive through a flood area or rising water.