JACKSON, MISS– August is the most active month for hurricanes, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
September, historically, has been the most active month overall, but that has not been the case for the Magnolia state.
“We’ve been hit by more hurricanes in August than September,” said MEMA Executive Director Lee Smithson. “So don’t wait for September to prepare. Prepare now.”
Evacuation routes open ahead of tropical storms and hurricanes, turning both directions of Highway 49 to Northbound traffic if necessary, in order to facilitate a safe exodus from the coast.
“Don’t plan on riding the storm out,” said Smithson. “Know your evacuation routes, know where you’re going to go.”
Smithson said that during a hurricane or tropical storm event, many choose not to evacuate, because they do not have a safe place for their pets.
“Many of our shelters are pet-friendly,” said Smithson. “And our shelters across the states open up for pets during an evacuation time.”
In a time of disaster, Mississippians often volunteer to help those recover. Knowing this, MEMA has established a reserve program to properly train and compensate those who wish to help in a time of recovery.
“You come in, get training..we actually have our first training session this month.” Smithson said. “When we activate those folks, we actually pay them.”
Compensation is $23 an hour for the time worked in the field during a recovery effort, with positions ranging from accounting, disaster assessment, logistics, and any other operational assistance.
For information on how to become a reservist, visit the MEMA website.