Prepare for more than contraflow this hurricane season

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 12, 2017

When a storm enters the Gulf of Mexico, residents in every Southern state turn their attention to the cone of uncertainty.

If their area falls within that cone, which is the possible path the storm can take, those people begin making preparations.

But city leaders are already making those preparations, and the season hasn’t even begun. Thursday, representatives from several departments gathered in the Council Chambers of Picayune’s City Hall to participate in a mock scenario where a category four or higher storm strikes Pearl River County.

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We all recall the devastation that occurred along the coast in 2005, homes and businesses were leveled, leaving the landscape forever changed. But here in Pearl River County we had a different experience. It wasn’t storm surge that caused stress, it was the long lived power outage and shortage of gasoline, hardware supplies and groceries.

When these stores reopened weeks later, it was the beginning of things going back to normal. Each season after 2005, the citizens and city representatives took greater efforts to prepare.

Now, almost 12 years later, we are all a bit wiser and continue to use that knowledge to prepare so future recovery efforts go even smoother.

Here are some tips to consider as we head into the coming hurricane season, some can be implemented now.

First, form a plan concerning whether your family will ride out the storm, or head north for safety and comfort. If evacuation is the decision, it will require advance booking of a hotel room, or finding accommodations with family or friends.

Second, if you require special medical care, seriously consider evacuation. After Katrina many areas of the city and county were without power for weeks.

And lastly, remember that when the power is out, automatic teller machines and debit card readers won’t be much use; take out enough cash to be able to buy supplies prior to the storm making landfall.

While we all pray for another uneventful hurricane season, it’s better to be prepared for anything.