PEARL – Gov. Phil Bryant has declared Feb. 18-22 as Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Mississippi.

Mississippi is making the transition into spring, opening the severe weather season. The state has been hit by 886 tornadoes in the months of March, April and May since 1950, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Tornadoes cause an average of eight deaths and 108 injuries per year in Mississippi.

“The spring months have produced some of our most historic severe weather events,” said Gov. Bryant. “I encourage all Mississippians to discuss their emergency plans with their family members, so that you and your loved ones are ready when severe weather strikes.” 

Severe weather extends far beyond the impacts of damaging winds and lightning.  Year after year, flooding is a top cause of weather-related deaths, only behind heat. And the impacts of flooding reach far

“The floods that ravaged counties in the southeast portion of the state just after Christmas this past year destroyed nearly $8 million of public infrastructure,” said MEMA Executive Director Greg Michel. “Like flooding, tornados happen very fast and often catch people ill prepared.  The only thing predictable about the weather this time of the year is unpredictability!  Pay attention to MEMA’s weather alerts when severe weather is forecast and act accordingly.  Stay alert; stay alive!”

MEMA and the NWS feature its partnership by focusing on specific types of severe weather each day of the week on social media and websites, including MEMA’s new website,