Prepare for hurricane season

Published 12:03 am Monday, June 8, 2015

NATCHEZ — June 1 marked the start of hurricane season, and although experts predict it will be relatively quiet, it still pays to be prepared.

This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave its annual prediction about general hurricane activity. The report stated there was a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season.

However, Adams County Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford Sr. said it is a good idea to prepare for the worst, just in case.

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“I tell people, always prepare,” Bradford said.

Natchez may be a bit inland for a direct hit from a hurricane. However, our area typically experiences spin-off storms that wreak havoc, including tornadoes, flooding, high winds and downed power lines.

In such situations, it pays to have a plan.

Standard preparations include locating the nearest shelter and having an extra supply of water, necessary medications, canned goods and baby supplies.

“Enough to supply you for three days,” Bradford said. “That’s what we tell people.”

Of the supplies listed, water can be very important, especially for a family.

If the power goes out, having an excess of water will help residents stay cool, enabling them to do everything from staying hydrated to brushing their teeth.

“You can never have enough water,” Bradford said.

Those are the usual preparations, but having pets and animals can add additional considerations.

The Natchez Adams County Humane Society provides emergency assistance to local animals but Kathy Fitch, Humane Society president, said resources are limited.

Like with humans, the best thing to do is be prepared, and stock up on necessary supplies. Pets require food, water and medications, but they also might need items like kennels and leashes.

In case of an evacuation, figuring out pet-friendly hotels and places to stay in safe areas is important, as well as deciding whether livestock should be sheltered in place.

With the season beginning, Adams County Emergency Management is the place to go for Code Red sign-ups, disaster plan kit and checklist as well as other materials.

“Education is the key,” Bradford said.