Hurricane

South Mississippi should prepare for Irma today like it’s coming here

NOAA

It’s too early to know with any degree of certainty where Hurricane Irma will be by next weekend.

But Monday morning’s southern shift in the forecast track increases the chances that it could wind up here.

A lot could happen between now and then. The track could shift again, putting Irma on the most favorable course, which would have it cruise out into the Atlantic and away from the United states.

But one thing that should happened in the next few days is all of us should prepare as if we know it is coming here.

Nail down your plans, and your plywood. Decide if you’ll stay at home or evacuate to a shelter or even further inland. And keep an eye on the storm.

If you plan to stay and haven’t been through a hurricane. talk to your neighbors. They can advise on what you should do in that particular neighborhood.

If you are a hurricane veteran, make sure your neighbors know what to do.

Normally, they say the first 72 hours after a hurricane is on you, meaning that you shouldn’t expect any appreciable help for three days. You have to have enough food, water and other essentials to last you and your family.

But the U.S. already is dealing with a massive relief effort in Texas and its resources would be terribly strained by a second killer storm.

Gas supplies are already tight and gasoline would be a precious commodity after a storm. We urge you to keep your vehicles topped off.

Fortunately, many of us have Monday off, which gives us time to prepare. If you prepare now, you’ll be glad you did should Irma take a turn toward the Gulf.

Harrison County EMA director Rupert Lacy warns residents to make sure they are getting accurate information as they monitor Hurricane Irma's track.

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