Don’t wait until it’s too late for hurricane preparation

Published 6:00 am Monday, June 12, 2023

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Hurricane season is upon us, and it’s never too early to prepare for a storm.

While Vicksburg has the privilege of advance notice when it comes to the tropics, we are still susceptible to the strong winds, heavy rains and damaging hail and tornadoes that accompany a hurricane. The National Weather Service advises residents to take a few steps to ensure safety in the event of a hurricane.

For one, it’s important to have an emergency kit. If you have an existing kit in your home, dust it off and complete an inventory of supplies: are batteries still good, does every family member have a flashlight, is your weather radio in working order?

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NWS also advises homeowners to make sure their storm shutters are in working order and that their insurance policy adequately covers hurricane damage.

Another big part of storm preparedness is understanding NWS warnings.

Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified area. The National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical-storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations.

In the realm of watches, there are hurricane watches and tropical storm watches. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Because it may not be safe to prepare for a hurricane once winds reach tropical storm force, the NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical-storm-force winds.

A tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.

To keep track of tropical weather advisories and forecasts, some of the best tools you can use are and for information specific to our area.

Geographically speaking, the Miss-Lou area knows well the threat of hurricane season, and residents know well to watch the weather and take precautions. We’re also experts at welcoming our coastal neighbors fleeing inland from the storms.

And while we have been lucky in the last couple of years as storms have either pivoted away from us or been incredibly weakened upon arrival, we can ever be too safe in the event of a hurricane, and safety begins with preparation. Here’s hoping we have a calm season and the Miss-Lou stays out of the eye of the storm.