MDOT urges public to prepare for severe weather
Published 9:14 am Tuesday, February 21, 2023
JACKSON, MISS. – Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) crews understand whether it takes the form of tornadoes, thunderstorms or flash floods, severe weather can develop quickly and often in our state.
To prepare Mississippians for severe weather season in March, April and May, Gov. Tate Reeves declared Feb. 20-25, 2023, as Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week. The purpose of this week is to spread awareness of the potential for severe weather in Mississippi, as well as provide information on ways that Mississippians can protect themselves in the event of severe weather.
“MDOT advises Mississippians to prepare in advance, stay informed and know what actions to take to keep you and your family safe before, during and after severe weather events,” said Brad White, MDOT Executive Director. “Advanced warning and increased awareness can help residents survive these potentially deadly storms.”
During severe weather, MDOT crews monitor and respond to issues that arise on state roadways. It is important for Mississippians to be able to receive severe weather alerts in multiple forms. MDOT encourages the public to utilize the resources provided such as the free MDOT Traffic mobile app, MDOTtraffic.com and alerts offered by other agencies.
For detailed preparedness information, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has useful tips and information at msema.org. Throughout Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week, MEMA officials will focus on different storm-related topics, including severe thunderstorms (Monday), flash flooding (Tuesday), tornadoes (Wednesday), lightning (Thursday), alerts and warning reception (Friday) and mobile home safety (Saturday).
Local weather information and alerts are available through the National Weather Service online at weather.gov. If there is an immediate, life-threatening emergency, call 911 right away.
MDOT also offers tips for encountering severe weather while on the road:
- Never drive through a flooded area; the water may carry your vehicle or cause it to stall.
- Do not use cruise control when the roads are wet. The distance it takes to stop increases in these conditions.
- If you encounter hail when driving, find shelter for your car.
- If you are in your vehicle during a tornado, seek sturdy shelter or the lowest part of the ground such as a ditch. Never seek shelter under highway overpasses.
- Use your headlights whenever conditions require the use of windshield wipers.
For more information about severe weather preparedness, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.