Preparedness

For every facet of your daily life you need to know what you are going to do when an emergency occurs, either at home or while at work. It is important for our residents and business owners to understand what they will need to have readily available during and following an emergency.  Every family should be prepared to take care of themselves up to 72 hours after any of the following disaster related events:

FAMILY PREPAREDNESS
FAMILY PREPAREDNESS BROCHURE

SEVERE WEATHER 

Forrest County and the City of Hattiesburg citizens can experience a variety of hazards including various types of Severe Weather.

TORNADOES / THUNDERSTORMS / LIGHTNING   

Each year Mississippi experiences numerous storms which can and often do form into Tornadoes and Severe Thunderstorms with dangerous lightning.  These storms can occur anywhere and at any time of the year.  Mississippi has historically more tornadic activity during the months of March through May.   November through the first of December also seems to be active as well.

TORNADO PREPAREDNESS
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM / LIGHTNING  PREPAREDNESS

FLOODING

Forrest County and the City of Hattiesburg has experienced both flash floods and river flooding in the past.  Flooding on the Bouie and Leaf Rivers affects areas in the Cities of Hattiesburg and Petal as well as out in the county.  Black Creek is located in South Forrest County and flooding affects both the Brooklyn community and rural areas along the creek.

Flash flooding is experienced in several areas of both cities and in creeks and streams out in the county.

FLOOD PREPAREDNESS

HURRICANES

Some of the most dramatic, damaging, and deadly events that have occurred in Forrest County has been hurricanes. During a hurricane, homes, businesses, public buildings, and infrastructure may be damaged or destroyed by many different storm hazards. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds and rain inside the home. In extreme storms (such as Hurricane Katrina), the force of the wind alone can cause tremendous inland devastation, as trees and power lines topple and weak elements of homes and buildings fail. Roads and bridges can be washed away and homes saturated by flooding. Destructive tornadoes can also be present well away from the storms center during landfall.

Disaster Prevention should include:

  • Keep up-to-date on weather conditions.
  • Make sure family and business vehicles are fueled and ready to go.
  • Have extra cash – your credit cards don’t work when the power is out.
  • Stock up on canned food, batteries, first-aid supplies, drinking water and medications
  • Secure light weight objects outside such as thrash cans, building supplies, tools, and lawn furniture.

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

NOAA WEATHER RADIO

Severe Weather Notification

To make sure you and your family are StormReady, you need to have a NOAA Weather Radio.  These radios are available from several local retailers and have improved greatly since they first became available over 20 years ago.

We highly recommend the models with S.A.M.E. capability.  Before S.A.M.E., your radio would alert for any watch or warning in the area covered by the transmitter to which it was tuned.  Now, radios with S.A.M.E. capability can be programmed with a code for the particular county or counties for which you want to receive alerts, so that you can be certain that when your radio alerts, it is really of interest to you.  Remember, a NOAA weather radio can alert you of pending severe weather even while you are asleep!

To set your radio, properly, consult the instruction manual that is included with the unit you purchase.  For your Mississippi county codes information go to:

http://www.weather.gov/nwr/CntyCov/nwrMS.htm

The City of Hattiesburg received a HUD grant that places NOAA Weather Radios in households who meet requirements of being either disabled, over 65 or live in low income housing.  This grant can only be used for persons who live within Hattiesburg City Limits.  For more information please contact Hattiesburg Office of Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grants, at 601-545-4598.

SEVERE WEATHER NOTIFICATION

SPECIAL NEEDS

For our Citizens who have physical, medical, or cognitive disabilities, emergencies can present a real challenge.  The same challenge also applies to the elderly and other special needs populations.  Protecting yourself and your family when disaster strikes requires planning ahead.

SPECIAL NEEDS PREPAREDNESS
SPECIAL NEEDS BROCHURE

TECHNOLOGICAL / HAZMAT

Forrest County is not exempted from technological or Hazmat incidents.  Families and businesses should be ready to react in the event of a Hazardous Materials spill or release.  Local response agencies respond to several incidents each year that involve hazardous materials.

HAZMAT PREPAREDNESS

SHELTERING AND VOLUNTEER AGENCIES

During large evacuation incidents such as a Hurricane, Mississippi evacuation plans calls for the first shelters to open in North Mississippi.  When those shelters begin to fill then Central Mississippi Shelters are opened leaving shelters in south Mississippi last to open in order for our own Mississippi Coastal Residents to have a place to go when evacuation orders are given on the MS coast.

Mississippi Public Broadcast  MPB “Radio” is the official Emergency information station and will give shelter information during an evacuation.

MPB

Forrest County is unique in that we have such a wonderful working relationship with our Volunteer Agencies year round and especially during times of evacuations and sheltering.  Forrest County Shelters are opened and managed by our local Red Cross Chapter while our local Salvation Army is the primary meals provider for each shelter.

Red CrossSalv Army R3SM Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi R3smMississippi 211 – This is an easy telephone number to remember that connects people with available services and volunteer opportunities in Mississippi.

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