MDOT urges public to prepare for severe weather

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JACKSON, MISS. – The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is working to spread awareness about the importance of preparing for potential severe weather in Mississippi.

To further prepare Mississippians for severe weather season in March, April and May, Gov. Tate Reeves declared Feb. 11-17, 2024, as Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Mississippi. The purpose of Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week is to remind the public about the potential dangers severe weather can cause, as well as provide information on ways to protect ourselves in the event of severe weather.

“As we approach the spring season, it is important for all residents to prioritize preparedness for severe weather. The unpredictability of spring storms demands a proactive approach to ensure the safety of our communities,” said Brad White, MDOT Executive Director. “By staying informed, having a plan in place and being ready to take action, we empower ourselves to face the challenges of severe weather and emerge resilient.”

MDOT crews understand whether it is flash flooding, tornados or thunderstorms with dangerous, high-speed winds, severe weather can develop quickly in our state. During severe weather events, these 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 as well as alerts offered by other agencies.

For detailed preparedness information, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has useful tips and information at msema.org. Local weather information and alerts are available through the National Weather Service (NWS) online at weather.gov. If there is an immediate, life-threatening emergency, call 911 right away.

Throughout Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week, MEMA and the NWS will focus on different storm-related topics daily, including making a plan (Sunday), severe thunderstorms (Monday), flash flooding (Tuesday), tornadoes (Wednesday), lightning (Thursday), alerts and warning reception (Friday) and mobile home safety (Saturday).

MDOT offers the following 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.

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