MEMA warns Memorial Day travelers to take heed of weather warnin - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

MEMA warns Memorial Day travelers to take heed of weather warnings

As Mississippians prepare to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency advises people to take heed of weather warnings. Source: WLBT As Mississippians prepare to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency advises people to take heed of weather warnings. Source: WLBT
As Mississippians prepare to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency advises people to take heed of weather warnings. Source: WLBT As Mississippians prepare to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency advises people to take heed of weather warnings. Source: WLBT
As Mississippians prepare to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency advises people to take heed of weather warnings. Source: WLBT As Mississippians prepare to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency advises people to take heed of weather warnings. Source: WLBT
JACKSON METRO AREA, MS (WLBT) -

As Mississippians prepare to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency advises people to take heed of weather warnings as Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto is expected to move toward the Gulf.

Sub-Tropical Alberto is the first storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

READ MORE: FIRST ALERT: Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto forms in NW Caribbean

MEMA External Affairs Officer Ray Coleman said heavy rain is expected to be the biggest threat to Mississippi and he advises both visitors and residents to have a plan in place.

“We always like to tell people it starts with communication in the home,” Coleman said. “Anything from mom and dad talking to their kids and saying 'hey, if we get separated, this is our emergency meeting place'. Having an emergency supply kit is huge. Things like bottled water, batteries, phone chargers. Make sure you have the things you would need if you needed to leave your house or be on your own for 72 hours. Anything you consider important, have that in a bag ready to go so if you have to leave, you can just throw it in your trunk and be on your way.”

Coleman said the Mississippi Department of Transportation has evacuation routes in place coming from the coast and traveling north.

If you find yourself stuck in a bad storm during your commute, Coleman said the best thing to keep in mind is turn around, don’t drown.

“If you can’t see the road, don’t take it,” Coleman said. “Our partners in DPS and MDOT will be sure to close off roads they know have flooding, but if they haven’t closed them off yet that can be a danger to the public. So, make sure if that if you see roads that may be impassible, have downed tree limbs, or may be underwater don’t test it, just take the opportunity to be safe and smart. We want people to have a good time for sure, but we want people to be safe first and foremost.”

Drivers shouldn’t only look out for flooded roads, Coleman said high winds can also make a driver’s commute dangerous.

“If tropical storm force winds are there, it’s not good to be on the roads at that point,” Coleman said. “At that point, we could be talking about pushing cars off the road and we don’t want that, but if it’s early enough and you’ve heeded the warnings from the local emergency managers, whatever they’re deeming necessary that’s the advice you need to take.”

Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a near or above normal hurricane season this year.

RELATED: NOAA predicts near- or above-normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

Even though hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1, Coleman said this is a good time to get a plan in place.

“This may not be the biggest storm of all but it’s a great opportunity for you to start practicing what you would do if this was the worst case scenario,” Coleman said. 

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