Be prepared: Wednesday is Winter Weather Preparedness Day
Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency urges Mississippians to plan for winter weather on Wednesday, Dec. 6 — Winter Weather Preparedness Day. MEMA’s announcement is in partnership with the National Weather Service and the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has forecasted a “wetter than average” winter for the state. Mississippians should be prepared for cold temperatures, the potential for flash flooding, and prolonged power outages.
“While we may not experience lots of snow in Mississippi, we are prone to ice during these cold months,” said MEMA Executive Director Stephen McCraney. “All citizens should have a disaster go-kit that can get them through at least 72 hours without power. Check on your neighbors and (the) elderly, too.”
“As winter approaches in Mississippi, it’s crucial to prepare for cold temperatures, potential snowy and icy conditions,” said NWS Jackson Warning Coordination Meteorologist Michael Hill. “Stay informed, have emergency supplies like blankets and non-perishable food on hand, and ensure your home is adequately insulated. Preparedness is key to navigating winter weather effectively in Mississippi. Now is the time to prepare.”
MDOT Executive Director Brad White warns that roads and bridges can become treacherous for drivers during the winter.
“As we’ve seen in recent years, winter weather and extreme cold events capable of impacting Mississippi highways can strike quickly this time of year,” White said. “With that in mind, MDOT offers the public preparedness resources for the winter months, including safe driving tips, a car kit checklist, and car care information at GoMDOT.com/winter.”
Some suggested ways to prepare
• If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood.
• Insulate walls and attics; use caulk and weather stripping around doors and windows. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic.
• Winterize your house, barn, shed or other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, animals or equipment.
• Clear rain gutters, repair roof leaks, and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
• Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic, and allow faucets to drip slightly during cold weather to avoid freezing.
• Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and ensure everyone in your house knows how to use them.
• Learn how to shut off water valves in the case of a burst pipe.
• Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or family members.
• Make a disaster go-kit, which should include: non-perishable food for family and pets; extra blankets; additional medications; phone chargers; flashlights; dry firewood; first aid kit; hygiene items; extra batteries; and water (one gallon per family member per day).
• Make a car kit, which should include: windshield scraper, jumper cables, blankets, water and snacks, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, cell phone charger, and emergency flares or reflectors.
More preparedness tips can be found at msema.org.