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Officials: Prepare Now for Severe Weather

By Daniel Cherry | Published 04 Feb 2013 06:35pm | comments
Mississippi is one of the most dangerous states in the nation for tornadoes. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, safety officials are warning Mississippians to start preparing now, because strong storms and tornadoes are likely in the coming months. 
 
Mississippi is at the top or near the top for total number of tornadoes and tornado fatalities according to the National Weather Service. Stephen Wilkinson is Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the Weather Service in Jackson. 
 
"I don't want to downplay in any way the plains and tornado alley, they certainly do get plenty of tornadoes, so when you talk about who's at the top of the list, they're right there too, but what we try to highlight is we're right there with them. Why does that happen? We really have a season that spans most of the year."
 
The threat of tornadoes increases mid-February through April and safety officials are urging Mississippians to make preparations now for the strong storms likely to come. Robert Latham is Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
 
"We urge them to get their weather radio. Talk about a plan with their family, know what they're going to do. In the home that they've got, where's the safest place to go. Then talk about beyond the family...the community, the business sector."
 
As a preparation, MEMA and the Weather Service will conduct a statewide tornado drill Wednesday morning. Shane McNeill is Director of Safe and Orderly Schools for the Mississippi Department of Education. Schools will be participating in the tornado drill, but McNeill says it's also important to put the newest and safest technology into schools.
 
"Creating those safe areas for those children to be placed during the school day, and that should be reviewed anytime a school is looking to build a new facility, they should make sure that weather-related incidences are addressed."
 
MEMA recommends a home emergency kit containing food, water, batteries, flashlights, a weather radio, and a first aid kit to prepare for any storms. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.

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