PEARL – The State Emergency Operations Center is reminding residents to use extreme caution when traveling and to prepare for prolonged sub-freezing temperatures through the end of the week.

Areas affected by winter precipitation may still have patches of ice on roads, bridges and overpasses. There is also the possibility of standing water turning to “black ice” overnight where temperatures drop below freezing.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will continue to drop for most of Mississippi over the next few days. On Wednesday, northern areas of the state will see low temperatures in the single digits, with teens and 20’s dropping further south. It is imperative for you to stay aware of weather in your area, as conditions change. Monitor your local media outlets or your NWS Office.

Several counties are opening “warming shelters” for those that need to escape the frigid temperatures. Please contact your county emergency management office to find one in your area.

With temperatures continuing to drop, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reminds residents to keep the following tips in mind while dealing with winter weather:

  • Check on neighbors who are shut-ins, elderly, families with small children, medical-care dependent, non-English speaking, low-income and have no transportation to ensure they have power and are safe.
  • Stay home and do not drive on snowy or icy roads unless it is an emergency.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during freezing weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
  • Have a fully stocked emergency supply kit.
  • Stay clear of downed power lines. Even if the electricity appears to have been turned off, leave the lines alone. Do not try to move them yourself.
  • Only operate generators outdoors. Do not operate a generator inside your home or garage.
  • Be cautious when using alternative heat sources. Do not use a stove for heat because it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If using space heaters please make sure there are no objects on or near them that could catch fire.
  • Letting water drip from a faucet during extremely cold weather can relieve water pressure and help prevent pipes of your home from bursting. If you suspect your pipes are frozen and may have burst, turn off your water at the main shut-off valve and call a plumber.

For up-to-date roadway information, go to www.mdottraffic.com or dial 5-1-1.

For detailed preparedness information, 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.