Today marks the start of Hurricane Preparedness Week in Mississippi. Emergency management officials expect a busy season and offer some tips.
Last October, Hurricane Nate made landfall in Jackson County. Fortunately there were no injuries. Lee Smithson with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says people followed their advice and evacuated. Among the tips he also offers are:
"As we say "the first 72 is on you." Make sure you have plenty of fresh water one gallon per person per day, non-perishable food, that you secure your key documents like birth certificates, that you have cash," said Smithson.
Smithson says the more money on hand the better. Federal-aid could take weeks to begin. He says check on neighbors and the elderly. If transportation is needed during an evacuation call the local county emergency management office. Smithson says know what shelters and hotels will take pets. Rupert Lacy is with the Harrison County Emergency Management Office. He says start early to reduce costs.
"Replenish those all hazard kits. Verify you have your to-go bags ready. This is the time to look at the necessary insurance documents that they have be it the wind pool," said Lacy.
He says take pictures of your home and property for filing claims and have extra medications on hand. Danny Manley in Pearl River County says people come there during severe weather. He advices everyone to stay alert, have a weather radio and;
"You need to have a way to let people know you're okay and if you stay during the storm. If you're not able to handle the storm, you need to evacuate," said Manley.
Hurricane Season begins June 1 and ends November 30, but storms can occur before or after that period.