MDOT Reminds the Public: Now is the Time to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Jackson, MS — The month of August has arrived, marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s wake of destruction. With those memories on the minds of many, the Mississippi Department of Transportation offers the following information to help prepare homes for this year’s hurricane season.

First, be sure to visit www.GoMDOT.com/hurricanes to download a copy of the 2015 Hurricane Evacuation Guide. The updated guide features vital information, from evacuation routes and contraflow information to contacts for emergency agencies such as the Mississippi Highway Patrol, American Red Cross, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and bordering state DOTs and law enforcement. There are phone numbers and websites for shelters and lodging, for animal protection and for other resources. The website also features a hurricane survival kit checklist, which includes those needed items such as water, food, household and healthcare goods, and supplies for your pets. Also included is a map for hurricane tracking and information on how to get up-to-date information via social media and radio.

MDOT recommends residents make plans, take action and gather the materials needed to secure homes for hurricane season. Be sure to have an emergency home readiness checklist that includes at least the following:

  • Be prepared to cover all windows by installing permanent storm shutters or plan to board up windows with 5/8-inch exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

  • Reduce roof damage by installing straps or additional clips to fasten your roof to your home’s frame structure.

  • Trim trees and shrubs so they are more wind resistant.

  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.

  • Reinforce your garage doors with a counterbalancing kit.

  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans and anything else not tied down that can become a wind-driven missile.

  • For those with boats, determine how and where to secure it.

If a hurricane is on the way, always remember to shut off utilities and propane tanks, close doors of refrigerators and freezers and turn to the coldest setting, fill your tub with water and unplug all appliances and electronics.

The 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina striking the Mississippi Gulf Coast is August 29, 2015. Residents of the Gulf Coast showed such resilience in the wake of that storm that made replacing a critical transportation network, the Bay St. Louis Bridge, possible. Watch a time-lapse video of the Bay St. Louis Bridge reconstruction at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9dz6h6NtfM. To learn more about MDOT’s efforts in rebuilding lives and infrastructure along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, pre-order a copy of Bridging the Road to Renewal at www.GoMDOT.com/hurricanes.

For more information on how to prepare a home for a hurricane, check MDOT’s YouTube page for more tips at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEWOdIxicrk. In addition to the survival checklist and the guide, the website provides tips on how to prepare homes for a hurricane at www.GoMDOT.com/hurricanes. Do not get caught off guard this hurricane season. Start preparation plans by gathering evacuation materials today.

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