Here's some basic info to get you started planning for hurricane season. Please use the links at the bottom to access information about emergency preparedness, evacuation routes, and emergency contact phone numbers.
Before: Plan and prepare
There are several ways to prepare beforehand. All families and households should take safety steps, such as creating an evacuation plan, building an emergency kit and putting copies of important documents in a safe place. In years past, when storms make landfall, many people rush to purchase gas, groceries, medication and other supplies. But don’t wait until there is an emergency. Think about all the essentials you, your family and your pets will need. Then, stock up on food, water, flashlights and batteries now. Consider what items you will need if the power goes out in your neighborhood or if you are advised to evacuate.
During: Don’t wait – evacuate
Being prepared for what to do during a hurricane is crucial. Having an evacuation plan laid out ahead of time means that you’ll know exactly what to do if or when a hurricane hits. Know where to go and how to get there. Avoid any flooded roads or bridges. Furthermore, you and your loved ones should establish a meeting place in case you are not together when the storm lands. Do your best to remain calm, even if some unknowns arise. Remind yourself during a storm that hurricane season happens every year in Jackson County. Your Jackson County emergency management along with other local community officials will work to ensure that you and your families are safe.
After: Stay vigilant
Once officials declare that it is safe for residents to return to their homes, it is still important to be equipped with information about what to do and what not to do. For example, stay informed about the local community response plan and stay alert for extended rainfall that could cause additional flooding. Do not wade into flood waters, which could contain dangerous debris like broken glass, sewage and downed powerlines. Take photos of any damage to your home and belongings for insurance purposes and do not use any electrical equipment if it is wet or if you’re standing in water. Remember to wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and boots, and be cautious when cleaning up. It’s equally important to note that you should not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food or make ice.
After a storm, residents are encouraged to contact their insurance provider if there is any damage and file a claim. Residents should report damage to their local Emergency Management Office as soon as possible. They can do so by using the MEMA Crisis Track self-reporting tool. This information-gathering platform allows local officials to determine the amount of damage within a community. More information reported will result in faster declarations of emergency for the affected areas.
2022 MEMA Disaster Guide
2022 MDOT Hurricane Evacuation Guide
If you need specific information on preparing for hurricane season, please contact your Jackson County EMA Coordinator, Chad Brownlow, by phone at 228-762-3111 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org