PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is reminding all Mississippians of the possibility of all forms of severe weather beginning tonight until late Tuesday. The National Weather Service says strong tornadoes, damaging winds, heavy rainfall up to five inches causing flash flooding and very large hail are possible.
MEMA Executive Director Robert Latham briefed Governor Phil Bryant and his staff on the forecast and all preparedness activities. MEMA is coordinating with local emergency management officials, state agencies and volunteer organizations in preparation for the event. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has positioned a liaison to the State Emergency Operations Center in case federal resources are requested.
During a news conference today, Latham reiterated that government is prepared to respond, but it is up to citizens to prepare and protect themselves.
“These storms have the potential to be very violent,” said Latham. “I urge all of our citizens to be aware of changing weather conditions in their area. Know how you are going to get weather alerts, what you would do if severe weather threatens your area and make sure the entire family knows the plan. This is especially important during the overnight hours when citizens are asleep.”
The State Emergency Operations Center is activated to Level 3 with MEMA staff and will increase to Level 2 with key state agencies and other organizations at 7 a.m. Monday, but is prepared to fully activate sooner if necessary.
According to the NWS, April is the most active month for tornadoes in Mississippi. Since 1950, Mississippi has seen 340 tornadoes during the month of April.
The following are some of the most effective ways to receive weather alerts:
- NOAA Weather Radio: Warnings issued by NWS.
- Television Stations: Local or national news stations monitor and broadcast weather alerts.
- AM/FM Radio: Radio stations are required to broadcast Emergency Alert System messages.
- Smartphone Applications: Numerous to choose from, and user can specify their areas for alerts.
- Alert FM Receiver: Similar to a NOAA Weather Radio, but relays the message from FM Stations.
- Social Media: MEMA partners with the NWS to post severe weather alerts on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #mswx.
- MEMA Mobile App: Free app available for iOS and Android users. Allows the user to find emergency information from MEMA, preparedness tools, weather radar and several other options like statewide highway information. For more information about the MEMA App, visit www.msema.org/mobileapp.
For more information about how to prepare for severe weather, 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.