JACKSON, MISS.—The National Weather Service along with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Department of Education talked Monday about the importance being prepared in a weather emergency.
The state is all too familiar with severe weather and tornadoes as spring approaches according to NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Stephen Wilkinson.
“From about middle of February all the way through April those instances climb,” he said.
Those instances have shown Mississippi the capability to be extremely violent along with numerous fatalities.
“Mississippi ranks at either the top or very near the top in all those categories.”
As for the most dangerous place in the state, Wilkinson says the northwest part of the state has been known to have the most fatalities, but not necessarily the most tornadoes.
“Some of the economic factors of the region play into that,” he said. “Also that area is very rural and has lots of tree so it’s harder to see for longer distances.”
The MDOE was also on hand to talk about the 450,000 kids that are in schools every day in the state.
“We must continue to keep every boy and girl at those schools safe,” said MDOE spokesman Shane McNeill. “That starts with emergency drills they do regularly.”
MEMA director Robert Latham spoke about simple ways to keep safe and his hopes for the coming year.
“We have been very lucky in regards to the number of children that are in school each day in the state and not having a tragedy,” Latham said.
Latham alluded that many people feel safe once they lay down to go to sleep but that can be the most dangerous time of all due to the fact people don’t hear twisters approaching their homes.
“The best thing to solve that is to buy a NOAA weather radio,” he insisted. “It will wake you up in the middle of the night if a warning in your area is issued.”
All three men agreed the weather radio was the best life-saving device and that all families should have one on hand along with having an emergency plan when a disaster strikes.