Mississippi deals with more than its fair share of severe weather. But there is no such thing as ‘overprepared’.
So, Governor Phil Bryant declared this week Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
“We may be clear of any threat of tropical systems for the rest of the year, but unfortunately that means we must now prepare for other weather impacts that affect our state,” said Gov. Bryant. “I encourage all Mississippians to not only have a plan but practice that plan on a regular basis so that you are ready when severe weather strikes.”
Recent history indicates an uptick in the instances of severe weather in the state. The state has been hit by 783 tornadoes in the months of November through February since 1950, according to the National Weather Service. Tornadoes cause an average of eight deaths and 108 injuries per year in Mississippi.
Flooding ranked number one in weather-related fatalities in 2017. And in December of 2017, Mississippi experienced heavy snow, ice, and freezing rain from the northern part of the state to the gulf coast region.
“The state of Mississippi can experience very active severe weather events throughout the year. However, most of our tornadic activity occurs during the months of November through May. Citizens sometimes relate severe weather only to the springtime, but historical data has shown us that severe weather season in Mississippi often starts in the Fall and carries over into the Winter and Spring,” said Bill Parker, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service in Jackson, MS. “This is why Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Week is one of the most important awareness campaigns the NWS partners with MEMA on.”
Federal, state and local governments 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 county emergency manager to find out the closest one in your area or where a local shelter will be available.
You can download MEMA’s free preparedness mobile app on your phone or tablet by searching “Mississippi EMA” in your app store or go online.