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Mississippi Tornado Drill Prompts Preparedness

(Nesbit, MS) Sandra Mozingo of Horn Lake has heard the weather forecast for Halloween, and she’s preparing for the worst ”Kinda apprehensive, in fact, scary".

High winds, heavy rain, even tornadoes are a normal part of fall in the mid-South.

As the weather transitions from warmer to cooler it can get violent.

That’s why Mississippi held a statewide tornado drill Wednesday to make sure local officials were read.

”We ran a test on our sirens this morning. We’re talking to the local schools. We also want to take time to talk to the general public and get ‘em geared up that we’re not exempt from tornadoes as we all know,” said DeSoto Emergency Management Director Bobby Storey.

Almost no part of DeSoto County has been spared from tornadoes over the years.

It’s why every Fall and Spring, local leaders go public with advice on planning for the worst.

At one time, Mississippi has grant money available for individual storm shelters.

That money has now run out, and the State is building more community shelters.

Grant money is now building “safe rooms” at several DeSoto Schools, and in other communities, underground shelters along major roads.

Disaster planners like Bobby Storey says we should all have an individual disaster plan and prepare to take care of ourselves for at least three days without any help.

After Hurricane Katrina, the damage kept help at bay for hours longer than normal.

”It was a day long journey from Jackson to the coast and that’s just getting trees out of the way so we could get to the coast and do our job,” Storey recalled.

He says the same could happen here on a smaller scale.

Storey recommends keeping food, water, and prescriptions on hand, just in case.

He also says we should keep a pair of shoes by the bed, because you never know when a tornado might strike.

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