Prepare now for hurricane season

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 29, 2015

Hurricane season is right around the corner so it’s time to prepare. Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a below-normal forecast for the 2015 hurricane season. However, Pearl River County Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said there’s still a chance of major storms developing and suggests residents prepare for the hurricane season.

“While it’s supposed to be a below average season, the reality is all it takes is one storm to hit you and you’ve had a really bad year. It’s really next to impossible to predict hurricane season,” Manley said.

The hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30. There’s a 70 percent likelihood there will be six to 11 named storms and three to six of those could become hurricanes, NOAA’s website states.

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Manley said he and his staff are gearing up for hurricane season by attending this week’s Mississippi Partners in Preparedness Summit in Biloxi. The summit prepares agencies statewide for emergency situations in their area, including hurricane preparedness.

Manley said it’s important for people to plan ahead in case of an emergency.

“You really want to prepare to be on your own for 72 hours during a hurricane, if you can’t handle that then you need to evacuate the area,” Manley said.

Before evacuating, Manley suggested making a financial plan to ensure there’s enough money to evacuate to another area. He also said it’s important to notify family members about the evacuation plan.

“If people get lost, we have to go find them. If you don’t tell your family where you’re heading, it makes it harder so it’s important to let them know where you’re evacuating to,” Manley said.

Pearl River County’s website has numerous safety tips for those braving a storm, including securing the home with storm shutters, turning off propane tanks and household utilities like a refrigerator and staying tuned to news updates via television or radio.

In Pearl River County there are currently three storm shelters where residents can wait out an incoming hurricane; located at Picayune Memorial High School at 501 Laurel St., Pearl River Central High School at 7407 Hwy. 11 in Carriere and the Poplarville fairgrounds at 124 Rodeo St.

For detailed preparedness information, visit MEMA’s website. Manley encourages residents to visit Pearl River County’s website and click on the emergency tab, which provides more tips on hurricane preparedness.

Manley said they will keep their social media account up-to-date with the latest information, which can be found at Pearl River County EOC and Roads’ Facebook page.