Have a plan in place before weather turns violent - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Have a plan in place before weather turns violent

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Tornado safe room being constructed at Hernando Elementary. Six DeSoto County schools are getting them. (Tom Dees / FOX13 News) Tornado safe room being constructed at Hernando Elementary. Six DeSoto County schools are getting them. (Tom Dees / FOX13 News)
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HERNANDO, Miss. (FOX13) -

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has declared this week as Tornado Awareness Week in the Magnolia State.

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While many may not give the fall season much thought when it comes to tornadoes, twisters can be extremely violent this time of year.

DeSoto County Director of Emergency Services Bobby Storey said it is best to make a plan and be prepared.

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Five new tornado sirens are being installed throughout the county and once operational in the next few weeks it will bring DeSoto County's total to 16. The new sirens are being installed at Highway 301 and DeSoto Road near the ballpark complex, the Nesbit Fire Department on Nesbit Road, the Lewisburg Fire Department on Byhalia Road, at the Buena Vista Lakes Community near Arkabutla Lake, and the Alphaba Cockrum Ingrams Mill community on Red Banks Road.

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"The key to that is these are outside devices," Storey said. "If you are in your house you are not going to hear that siren because of the rain and the wind is distorting the sound. We still encourage people to get your weather radios and watch your local forecasters."

EMS officials say a majority of tornadoes in the fall season are long track, violent, and strike at night.

"It really makes it hard on us," Storey said. "We have trained spotters but at night when you are blanketed by clouds you can get trapped in one real quick."

Currently six tornado shelters are being constructed at DeSoto County elementary schools like one at Hernando Elementary. Storey said residents need to have a plan when at home in the event a tornado strikes at night.

You're going to need shoes to walk through debris after the tornado, so keep them close by and you should also store 72 hours worth of bottled water. If you live in a mobile home, you need to have somewhere else to stay through the storm.

"You need to have a plan in place now when it is nice outside," Storey said. "Don't wait until it actually hits."

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