PINE BELT (WDAM) - Severe weather in the Pine Belt is a common threat year-round that can produce deadly tornadoes with many communities in the area having already seen damage this year.
The National Weather Service in Jackson is predicting overnight storms in our area and emergency officials are saying the time to prepare is before the bad weather arrives.
Officials say if you don’t have access to a storm shelter, it’s a good idea to identify a safe room in your home where household members and pets can gather. This area should be an inner room with no windows and keep an emergency kit on hand along with a radio with fresh batteries and a phone if possible.
Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
If you happen to be outside during a severe weather event, seek shelter and stay away from bridges and highway overpasses.
It’s important to have a plan in place and be prepared to act if necessary.
Paul Sheffield, executive director for the Jones County Emergency Operations Center, says even if nothing happens, it’s a great way to use the experience as a drill for the real thing.
“Prepare yourself, create a plan and follow that plan, after every event, go back and review your plan for yourself, if something didn’t work you can make changes to the plan,” said Sheffield. “Use that as a learning tool, and that way when the real event does occur for you, you’re prepared and you’re ready.”
After the storm passes be sure to check on loved ones and the elderly, and be sure to take pictures of any damage for insurance purposes later.