County prepared for hurricane season

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2016

Tropical storm Bonnie, the storm that plagued the southern east coast over the Memorial Day weekend, may not have reached hurricane status, but it did mark the official start of hurricane season for 2016. Now is the time to become prepared.

Pearl River County officials are making sure citizens are safe.

“Every month of hurricane season, the EOC has meetings. We test communications and do exercises of scenarios that we potentially could come across if a storm hits hard,” said Pearl River County Emergency Management Director Danny Manley.

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For those that are in a vulnerable situation, there are three emergency storm shelters located throughout the county.

The shelters are located on the campus of Picayune Memorial High School, the campus of Pearl River Central High School in Carriere, and the fairgrounds in Poplarville, said Manley.

Each shelter can hold about 800 people, so bring supplies if the plan is to ride the storm out in one, Manley said.

“The shelters are a great place to hide during a storm. If you feel vulnerable, meaning you cannot go without power for a significant amount of time, you are surrounded by large trees or live in a mobile home, coming to the shelter is a smart option. We do have limited supplies so bringing what you have is recommended,” said Manley.

These shelters can withstand 200 mile per hour winds, which Manley said can be generated by a category 5 hurricane.

Manley has a couple of recommendations for those that wish to stay at home during a hurricane.
“First things first, secure your home. Close the storm shutters or board up all the windows in case of a big hit. Listen to the radio and TV for more details on the progression of the storm, so you know exactly what is going on around you. Turn your refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and if things get real bad, turn off all the utilities. Also, avoid using the phone unless for extreme emergencies. When hurricanes come near Mississippi or anywhere for that matter, people tend to overuse their phones which can actually lead to a jam in the signal,” said Manley.

As far as evacuation plans go, Manley says heading north toward Jackson is the best option, if in a defenseless area with high possibility of floods during a daunting storm.

For more tips, Manley recommends visiting and click on the emergency management link.