By Jennifer Lenain/Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Hurricane season begins June 1, and the forecast provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an active season for storms to originate in the Atlantic basin, with a 70 percent chance of having 13 to 20 named storms.
May 26 is the start of National Hurricane Preparedness Week.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s (MEMA) theme is, “The Fist 72 are on you,” and it encourages people in the path of a hurricane to have enough supplies to sustain for three days after a storm hits.
“For the most part, people do not usually evacuate from Pearl River County,” Pearl River County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Director Danny Manley said.
“Remember that all of your plans need to have some latitude in them,” Manley said. “You have to be agile and ready to make changes on the fly.”
A well-prepared supply kit is necessary for adjusting to the changing atmospheres of a hurricane.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a list of items that are essential for any basic disaster supply kit. FEMA recommends having one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation needs. A three-day supply of non-perishable food is recommended and if needed, infant formula.
Each family’s or individual’s supply kit should be customized to meet specific needs.
A battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert is an important emergency item on the list, along with extra batteries. The weather radio can be found at various retail stores.
Flashlights are a must need for a supply kit and a whistle to signal for help.
A first aid kit is vital to include in a supply kit. Basic first aid supplies includes: latex gloves; sterile dressings; a cleansing agent; assorted ointments; bandages; scissors; eye wash solution and prescribed medications or equipment.
Important family documents and cash or traveler’s checks are key items to include in a supply kit.
Other items recommended to be included in a supply kit are: garbage bags; moist towelettes; a manual can opener; and a wrench or a set of pliers.
Local maps and emergency reference material are additional items to consider adding to a supply kit.
Cell phone chargers should be considered as items in a supply kit.
Items to keep in mind are those that provide comfort, like bedding and clothing that should be packed to accommodate changes in weather.
Food and water for pets should be included as well.
In order to maintain a supply kit, it is recommended to keep items in airtight plastic bags and to store disaster supply kits in easy-to-carry containers. Kits should be ready and kept in a designated place for quick access.
FEMA recommends having a supply kit ready months in advance.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.