PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is monitoring the threat of a severe weather system forecast to move through the state Saturday afternoon and evening.

The National Weather Service says heavy rainfall up to three inches, high winds and tornadoes could threaten the entire state.

“We are in the final lap before the holidays, but I want to remind everyone to remain safe as these storms are passing through,” said MEMA Executive Director Robert Latham. “I know that many people in our state will be out shopping tomorrow, and driving conditions could become hazardous tomorrow with high winds and possible tornadoes. I urge everyone to pay close attention to this developing weather event.”

Due to the holiday season, residents should also remember that 70-80 mph winds and tornadoes can turn Christmas decorations and other outdoor items into projectiles. Everyone is encouraged to secure these outdoor items in an effort to reduce any potential damage.

MEMA and the NWS recommend taking the following steps:

  • Every home should have a NOAA weather radio, or some other means of receiving severe weather alerts in their home. The weather radio sounds an audible alert when a warning is issued for the immediate area, and can be purchased at many local retailers for less than $40.
  • 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.
  • Check on at-risk neighbors to ensure they are prepared for severe weather.
  • Check and restock your emergency supply kit, in the case that your home is without power for an extended period of time.
  • Residents in mobile homes or manufactured housing should consider going to a more substantial structure to wait out the storm.
  • If riding in a vehicle, never attempt to outrun a tornado. You should abandon the vehicle and get into a sturdy structure.

In addition to a NOAA weather radio, everyone should monitor their local media for forecast information and updates.

For more information on family, personal and community preparedness, visit MEMA’s website at, or download the free MEMA mobile app in the iPhone app store or Google Play for Android users.

Follow MEMA on Twitter and Facebook for updates.