PEARL – To increase your chances of surviving a disaster, everyone in Mississippi should have or review their emergency plans.
As part of Mississippi’s Hurricane Preparedness week, MEMA Director Robert Latham urges individuals and families to discuss their Family Disaster Plans. The plan should include an evacuation method and route, a communications plan and a disaster supply kit.
“We know all too well how tropical weather can impact Mississippi,” Latham said. “Having a disaster plan can save your life during a disaster. Sit down with your family now to discuss how you would respond to a disaster in your area.”
Mississippians should contact their county emergency management directors to learn about emergency plans for their area, locations of shelters and evacuation zones and routes. They should identify the places they will go, and even the route they will take if they have to evacuate. For a full list of contact information for county emergency management directors, visit msema.org/local-ema/.
During Hurricane Isaac in 2012, hundreds of citizens had to be rescued as a result of rising water. Heavy rains and storm surge will almost always be associated with tropical systems. Once tropical storm force winds begin, first responders may not be able reach citizens stranded as a result of rising water.
Following an evacuation, a communications plan can help residents locate family members and friends who also evacuated. During and after a storm, telephone service will likely be limited. It is often easier to call long distance, outside the disaster area, or even a text message from a mobile device. Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to serve as the family contact person. Make sure all family members know the name, address and telephone number for this contact person.
Develop and maintain a Family Disaster Supply Kit with life sustaining items such as non-perishable food and water for at least three to five days, a first aid kit with prescription medications, a battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries, cash and traveler’s checks and specialty items such as baby formula and pet-care items. If you evacuate remember to take your supply kit with you along with other things like bedding if you are going to a shelter.For more information on important items to include in your disaster supply kit, go to msema.org/be-prepared/disaster-kits/ where you can print a checklist. You can also print the Mississippi Hurricane Guide in English or Spanish.
Gov. Phil Bryant declared June 2-6 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in Mississippi.
For more information about how to prepare for hurricane season, go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org or download the MEMA mobile app on your iOS or Android device. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on twitter.