Hurricane preparedness: Evacuation routes

Hurricane preparedness: Evacuation routes

PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The Magnolia State is no stranger to the dangers of hurricanes.

Many of the state highways are used as evacuation routes during the season.

"It’s been 50 years since Hurricane Camille struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It’s been about 14 years since Hurricane Katrina. As Mississippians, we know how dangerous hurricanes can be,” said Jace Ponder, information officer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

MDOT does not issue hurricane evacuations, local officials do, but MDOT wants to encourage you to be prepared before one is issued.

“They should have an evacuation plan in order and supplies gathered. That means food and water for 72 hours,” Ponder said. “A gallon of water per person per day. Fuel up your car in advance. There could be a rush to gas stations when an evacuation order is issued.”

Some things to keep in mind during evacuations include

  • Always travel north, no matter the storm path.
  • Do not evacuate parallel to the coast.
  • Consider taking an alternate evacuation route to help with congestion along the major routes.

“You want to be as far away from the danger as possible,” Ponder said. “We have evacuation guides available for free at You can download a safety check list and plan your route out in advance."

Interstate 59 and U.S. Highway 49 are the major evacuation routes for the Pine Belt area.

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