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Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Week signals time to stock up, check supplies

Published on Monday, October 2, 2023

By: Danny Barrett Jr., dlbarrett@umc.edu

When severe weather looms, it’s important for those with medical conditions whose care can depend on electricity and prescription medications to be prepared.

While spring is a prime season for tornadoes and straight-line wind storms, Mississippi residents shouldn’t let their guard down in fall and winter months, either. The state often sees significant weather events as warm days slowly transition to colder ones during November and December.

Jason Smith

“There are several heightened preparedness tips for those with medical conditions that are important to consider during severe weather,” said Jason Smith, manager of campus disaster response and readiness at UMMC. Three main tips for preparedness ahead of bad weather include:

  • Gather food, water and medical supplies to sustain up to two weeks.
  • Prepare a two-week supply of medications.
  • Collect all important documents and medical records to have accessible in the event of evacuation, relocation or hospitalization after a severe weather event.

Similar guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips on how to prepare several specific health populations, such as patients who use dialysis equipment at home or a nebulizer when breathing issues arise. All require electricity that can be zapped for days or weeks in the event of severe weather.

Gov. Tate Reeves declared Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Week today through Friday to bring attention to severe winter weather. Each day this week, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will share information on various topics related to planning for bad weather this winter.

Also, a statewide tornado drill will be conducted at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, weather permitting.

This past spring, 50 tornadoes touched down in Mississippi, including a devastating EF-4 tornado in Rolling Fork, in the south Delta, and an EF-3 tornado in Amory, in northeast Mississippi. In 2022, a record-breaking 136 tornadoes touched down in the state.