The number one thing the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency wants you to remember as we close in on the 2018 Hurricane Season is, “It only takes one.” 

Mississippi was hit head on by Hurricane Nate last October. Thankfully there was no loss of life, injuries or significant damage, but we could have easily experienced the devastation left behind by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

MEMA Executive Director Lee Smithson reminds Mississippians to discuss their Family and Business Disaster Plans. The plan should include an evacuation method and route, a communications plan and a disaster supply kit.

“The state and local governments are as prepared as we can be for the next hurricane,” Smithson said. “The real key is personal responsibility. Have a plan, don’t put yourself or family in harm’s way, and be prepared for the aftermath.”

Residents should contact their county emergency management directors to learn about emergency plans for their area, locations of shelters and evacuation zones and routes. For a full list of contact information for county emergency management directors, go to 

Following an evacuation, a communications plan can help residents locate family members and friends who also evacuated.

  • During and after a storm, telephone service could be limited. It is often easier to call long distance, outside the disaster area, or to even send a text message from a mobile device or from social media.
  • Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to serve as the family contact person.
  • Make sure all family members know the name, address and telephone number for this contact person.

Develop and maintain a Family Disaster Supply Kit with life sustaining items such as:

  • Non-perishable food and water for at least three to five days.
  • A first aid kit with prescription medications.
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Cash and traveler’s checks.
  • Specialty items such as baby formula and pet-care items.

If you evacuate remember to take your supply kit with you along with other things like bedding if you are going to a shelter. For more information on important items to include in a disaster supply kit, go to 

Gov. Phil Bryant declared May 7- May 11 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in Mississippi.

Download the 2018 MEMA Hurricane Preparedness Guide at Follow MEMA’s social media platforms on Facebook @msemaorg, and Twitter @msema.