> PEARL – The threat of severe weather is in the forecast for most of the state Monday afternoon through Tuesday. With Christmas travel underway, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is reminding everyone to know how to get alerts and have a plan.
> “We know people will be out doing last minute shopping, welcoming family and friends to the area or travelling themselves,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “The most important thing is to think about what you will do if severe weather moves in wherever you are.”
> The National Weather Service says severe weather will be possible starting this afternoon through Tuesday as a cold front pushes from west to east. NWS says heavy rain, large hail, damaging winds and possibly tornadoes could occur.
> Some special considerations for this Christmas week:
> Anchor down or temporarily remove holiday decorations from your yard as they could become projectiles.
> Know how you will get weather alerts if you are away from home.
> Know what you will do if you are in a public place, like shopping malls or in your car.
> Review your emergency plan with those visiting for the holidays.
> There are many ways you can be alerted to severe weather warnings:
> NOAA weather radios: An essential tool that should be in every home or business.
> Wireless Emergency Alert Messages: Make sure these notifications are turned “on” in your phone settings.
> Smartphone Apps.
> Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
> Local radio and TV stations.
> Community tornado sirens.
> In addition MEMA and the NWS recommend taking the following steps:
> Have a family emergency plan and family communication plan. Every member of your family should know where to go, and how to communicate with each other if there is storm damage in your area.
> Check on your family friends and neighbors to ensure they are prepared for severe weather.
> Check and restock your emergency supply kit, in the case that your home is without power for an extended period of time.
> Residents in mobile homes or manufactured housing should consider going to a more substantial structure to wait out the storm.
> If riding in a vehicle, never attempt to outrun a tornado. You should abandon the vehicle and get into a sturdy structure.
> For detailed preparedness information, contact your county emergency management agency or go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on twitter.