PEARL, Miss. – Governor Tate Reeves declared February 17-21 as Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Mississippi.
The spring months are an extremely active time for Mississippi to experience severe weather. Just last year, there were 78 tornadoes between February and May, and the month of April tied a state record with 67.
However, severe weather extends far beyond the impacts of damaging winds, lightning, and tornadoes. Flooding is another hazard associated with severe weather and causes the second-most weather-related fatalities nationwide.
To feature their partnership, The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) are focusing on specific types of severe weather each day of the week on their respective social media platforms and websites. Here is what will be featured during this Preparedness Week:
- Monday, Feb. 17th: Severe Thunderstorms – Lightning, large hail and damaging winds from severe storms can be just as dangerous as tornadoes.
- Tuesday, Feb. 18th: Flooding and Flash Flooding – Behind heat, flooding is the number one cause of weather-related deaths. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown
- Wednesday, Feb. 19th: Tornado Safety – The NWS will issue a statewide tornado drill at 9:15 a.m.
- NOTE – If rainfall or adverse weather is expected during the morning, the tornado drill will be postponed until the next day.
- Thursday, Feb. 20th: Lightning – All thunderstorms have lightning and this hazard can be deadly.
- Friday, Feb. 21st: Alerts and Warnings – There are numerous ways to receive weather alerts. You can also download MEMA’s free preparedness mobile app on your phone or tablet by searching “Mississippi EMA” in your app store.
Local weather information and alerts are available through the NWS online at the following websites:
- Central Mississippi counties: www.weather.gov/jan
- Coastal Mississippi counties: www.weather.gov/mob or www.weather.gov/lix
- Northern Mississippi counties: www.weather.gov/meg
Federal, state, and local governments have invested millions of dollars in more than 100 safe rooms across Mississippi that are intended to protect citizens from severe weather. The buildings are constructed to withstand 200 mph winds. Check with your local county emergency manager to find the closest one in your area or where a local shelter will be available.
After severe weather strikes, there are multiple ways to request assistance. Affected individuals can contact United Way by simply dialing ‘211’ to receive local resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, if there is an immediate, life-threatening emergency call ‘911’ right away.
Residents can also report damage by contacting their local emergency management office or by visiting the Crisis Track Resource Request links:
- Hinds County Residents: www.crisistrack.com/public/hindsMS/request.html
- Rankin County Residents: www.crisistrack.com/public/rankinMS/request.html
- Madison County Residents: www.crisistrack.com/public/madisonMS/request.html