PEARL – The Mississippi Management Agency has been notified by the National Weather Service of the potential for severe storms that could bring 75 mph winds and possibly strong tornadoes late tonight into the early morning hours for portions of the state. MEMA strongly urges citizens to know how they will receive alerts in the late night hours and to think about a plan for what you will do if severe weather threatens.
The NWS forecast places areas generally between Highway 82 and Interstate 20 in the greatest risk. Heavy rain, hail high winds and possibly tornadoes could begin in around 10 p.m. along the Mississippi River and spread eastward through the night.
“With the possibility of these storms hitting after people have gone to bed, we want to make sure they make the necessary preparations to get warnings through things like a weather radio,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “It’s also best to be prepared and know what you are going to do if you are alerted in the middle of the night.”
There are many ways you can be alerted to severe weather warnings:
- Please do not rely solely on tornado sirens.
- NOAA weather radios: An essential tool that should be in every home or business.
- Wireless Emergency Alert Messages: Make sure these notifications are turned “on” in your phone settings.
- Smartphone Apps.
- Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- Local radio and TV stations.
A few important safety reminders:
- Have a family emergency plan and family communication plan. Every member of your family should know where to go, and how to communicate with each other if there is storm damage in your area.
- Residents in mobile homes or manufactured housing should consider going to a more substantial structure to wait out the storm.
- Move outdoor furniture indoors as high winds may turn them into projectiles.
- Move vehicles into or under covered parking to reduce the risk of hail damage.
For detailed preparedness information, contact your county emergency management agency or go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on twitter.