With the height of hurricane season nearing, emergency and weather officials are urging residents to get prepared.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency director Lee Smithson says August and September are typically the busiest months for tropical weather. He recommends coastal residents review their hurricane plans and refresh supplies and evacuation kits.
“Take everything seriously because even a small storm like Hurricane Isaac, back in 2012, created more flooding than some areas got in Hurricane Katrina, so now's the time to start looking at your plans and start thinking about what you're going to do to start taking care of yourself, your family and your pets," he says.
Smithson says inland residents should prepare too, for example, to be without power for up to a week.
National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Ansorge says this is the time that tropical systems tend to ramp up.
"Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf are about a degree to two degrees above normal," he says. "That in and of itself doesn't mean that we're going to have a more active season. The wind shear, which can tear apart storms and help them not develop, is less this year than in previous years. So we could see more storms, but ultimately it only takes one storm, so we need to be prepared for that one storm that might affect our area."
Since 1950, there have been 67 hurricanes that formed in the month of August, and 109 in the month of September.