PEARL – Gov. Phil Bryant declares Feb. 9-13 Tornado Preparedness Week in Mississippi.
Mississippi is entering what is historically the height of tornado season. Since 1950 the state has seen 1,919 tornadoes with 987 of them striking in the months of February, March, April and May.
On April 28, 2014, a devastating outbreak spawned 23 twisters and 14 Mississippians lost their lives.
“We have learned that preparing for tornadoes can save your life,” Gov. Bryant said. “Mississippians need to have a plan for what they will do and where they will go when a tornado is headed their way. Don’t start from scratch when a warning is issued.”
The National Weather Service will issue a statewide test tornado warning on NOAA weather radios at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. Schools, government agencies and businesses throughout the state are encouraged to participate in the tornado drill.
“Many counties now have community safe rooms that can be utilized during severe weather,” 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.”
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.
“Mississippi is one of the most active states for total tornadoes, strong to violent tornadoes and long track tornadoes,” said Jackson NWS Meteorologist in Charge Alan Gerard. “Spring is the busiest season for tornadoes so we strongly encourage residents to pay close attention to daily forecasts and severe weather outlooks to make sure they are not caught off guard.”
MEMA, the NWS and the Storm Prediction Center will participate in a live video chat on Google Hangout about Tornado Preparedness Week at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 9. If you have questions, you can live chat with the presenters using the hashtag #MSPrep on Facebook and Twitter.
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.
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.