PEARL – Gov. Phil Bryant declares Oct. 26-30 Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Mississippi.
Mississippi is entering the severe weather season seen each year as the seasons change. According to the National Weather Service, from 1950 to 2014 the state saw 1,921 tornadoes with 486 of them striking in the months of October, November and December. The most active tornado month in Mississippi is April with 365 tornadoes.
On Dec. 23, 2014, a long lived, persistent storm tracked across Marion, Lamar and Jones counties, producing multiple tornadoes and killing five people. This storm devastated Columbia and parts of Laurel just two days before Christmas.
“Mississippi is accustomed to responding to a variety of weather conditions, but it is important to remember that preparedness begins at home,” said Gov. Bryant. “Sit down with your family and review your plan today. Know what you and your loved ones will do and where you will go if severe weather threatens your community.”
The National Weather Service will issue a statewide test tornado warning on NOAA weather radios at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Schools, government agencies and businesses throughout the state are encouraged to participate in the tornado drill. If there is an actual threat of severe weather, the test will take place on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.
“To echo what Gov. Bryant said, I urge all Mississippians to sit down at the dinner table and go over their plan,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “I want to especially emphasize people who live in mobile or manufactured homes to find safe haven in their areas.”
The federal, state and local governments have invested millions of dollars in nearly 100 safe rooms across Mississippi that are intended to protect citizens from severe weather. The buildings are constructed to withstand 200 mph winds. Check with your county emergency manager to find out the closest one in your area.
MEMA and the NWS will focus on specific types of severe weather each day of the week on social media and websites. The outline is as follows:
- Monday, Oct. 26: Severe Thunderstorms. Lightning, large hail and damaging winds from severe storms are much more frequent than tornadoes in the South.
- Tuesday, Oct. 27: Flooding and Flash Flooding. Flooding is the number one cause of weather-related deaths behind heat. Remember… Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
- Wednesday, Oct. 28: Tornado Safety. Repeatedly, people survive people survive tornadoes by knowing weather safety rules and by taking appropriate and timely action. A statewide tornado drill will be conducted at 9:15 a.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 29: Snow and Ice. Surprisingly, these winter events can affect the Magnolia State before winter officially begins in late December.
- Friday, Oct. 30: Extreme Cold and Wind Chill. Know what they are and how to prepare and protect yourself and your home.
“Weather conditions in Mississippi have been very quiet for the last 6 months, but the weather pattern is changing to one that is more favorable for severe weather for the rest of the fall season,” said Steve Wilkinson, NWS Jackson Warning Coordination Meteorologist.
Local weather information and alerts are available through the NWS online at the following websites:
- Central Mississippi counties: www.srh.noaa.gov/jan.
- Coastal Mississippi counties: www.srh.noaa.gov/mob or www.srh.noaa.gov/lix.
- Northern Mississippi counties: www.srh.noaa.gov/meg.
There are several ways to receive severe weather warnings, like a NOAA weather radio, or one of several applications on mobile devices. A number of free mobile applications are available for download on smart phones, which can alert you when a watch or warning is issued for your area.
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 and the National Weather Service on Facebook, or “Follow” us on twitter.