There were numerous trees downed during the storm this past weekend.

Governor Phil Bryant declared this past week Severe Weather Preparedness Week for Mississippi. This was fitting, because we experienced a line of heavy storms that blew through the area and caused some damage.

While the damage was a majority downed trees and power outages, but what happens when the next one is not? What about when a mile-wide tornado rips through the area like it did in 2011?

We should all be prepared for that scenario. We hope that it never happens, but we do live in Mississippi after all, one of the most unstable and unpredictable states as far as weather is concerned. We have (at least somewhat) seasons where severe weather is more likely than others, but it is not an exact science. We have had tornadoes on Christmas Day before. The truth is, no one truly knows what the weather will do here, so our best course of action is to always be prepared.

There are several ways one can prepare. The first, and perhaps most important, is to have a designated safe place. It is even more important if you live in a non-sturdy structure such as a mobile home. A safe place is preferably an underground room such as a basement or perhaps a storm shelter. If you do not have access to that, as many people do not, then an interior room with no windows or outside walls is you next best option. This could be a bathroom or closet or even a hallway. It is also a good idea to have helmets and/or pillows and blankets to pad yourself from potential debris.

After you have your safe place figured out, you might want to think about sustainability. You will need food in water in the event that you are trapped in your safe place. You should prepare a box or bag or something of the necessary supplies (food, water, first aid, etc.) so that you stand the best chance of survival.

These are just a few tips to help you prepare for the ever-looming threat of severe weather. There are numerous other sources who are more qualified to help you supplement the rest and help keep you safe. But just remember, always expect the unexpected.

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