JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Gov. Phil Bryant has declared this week as Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation is joining the National Weather Service, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and local emergency managers in observing this week as Mississippi Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week February 20-24.
MDOT said the week is to spread awareness of the potential for severe weather.
National Weather Service records show there have been 821 confirmed tornadoes, 247 wind reports of 75mph or greater and 2,321 reports of large hail in Mississippi in the spring months since 1950.
“Springtime in Mississippi is beautiful, but can also be extremely dangerous from severe weather as the season changes,” said Gov. Bryant. “It is so important for all Mississippians to have a good preparedness plan in place before severe weather threatens.”
- Monday, February 20 will focus on severe thunderstorms. Large hail and damaging winds from severe thunderstorms are common occurrences in the South. It is important to take measures to protect yourself and your family during severe thunderstorms.
- Tuesday, February 21 will be dedicated to the dangers of flash flooding. Many fatalities are caused by driving in a flash flood because it is difficult to tell how deep the water is. If you come across a road with high water, turn around, don’t drown!
- Wednesday, February 22 will be devoted to tornado safety. It is important for people to know tips regarding tornado safety in order to be able to respond to an emergency appropriately. A statewide tornado drill will be conducted at 9:15 am. Schools, businesses and other agencies are encouraged to participate to review tornado safety tips. Thursday will be the alternate drill day if adverse weather is expected on Wednesday.
- Thursday, February 23 will focus on the dangers of lightning. Lightning is often called “the underrated killer” and can strike as far as 10 miles away from a storm. When thunder roars, go indoors!
- Friday, February 24 will be dedicated to ways you can receive weather warnings. It is important for Mississippians to be able to receive severe weather alerts in multiple forms. MDOT encourages people to utilize the resources provided such as MDOTTraffic.com and alerts that other organizations offer.
Mississippi has the potential for severe weather year round. However, the main season for severe weather is in March, April and May.
MDOT’s offers tips if you encounter severe weather while on the road:
- Never drive through a flooded area; the water may carry your vehicle or even cause it to stall.
- Do not use cruise control when the roads are wet. The distance it takes to stop increases in these conditions.
- If driving and you encounter hail, find shelter for your car.
- If you are in your vehicle during a tornado, seek sturdy shelter or the lowest part of the ground such as a ditch. Never seek shelter under highway overpasses.
- Use your headlights whenever conditions require the use of windshield wipers.