JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi is under a State of Emergency in preparation for Tropical Storm Karen.
Gov. Phil Bryant made that declaration Thursday afternoon. It allows state officials to position and deploy resources to assist areas impacted by an emergency.
"I have declared a State of Emergency so Mississippi can respond immediately if Tropical Storm Karen affects our state," Gov. Bryant said. "Residents should not over react, but this should serve as a reminder to make your storm preparations now. I will continue working with MEMA, the Mississippi National Guard, the Department of Public Safety and other emergency officials to monitor the situation, and we will issue updates as the storm develops."
Meanwhile, Jackson County Emergency managers said they will wait until Friday at 8am to make any official decisions concerning the tropical system, such as declaring a state of emergency. They are urging all South Mississippi residents to stay calm and begin preparing for possible flooding. They said the state will be delivering 20,000 sandbags to Jackson County Friday morning. We'll have more information on sand bag locations as they are announced.
Jackson County Emergency Management Director Earl Ethridge said, "Plan for a category 1 and hope it all goes to Florida and we don't have to worry about it."
At the meeting, questions were raised concerning whether the government shutdown would have any impact on aid. Ethridge said all initial funding comes from the state. Any federal funding would come later, so it shouldn't be a concern.
Two things you can do right now to prepare for Tropical Storm Karen are 1) decide where you will go if an evacuation is necessary, and 2) have a fully stocked emergency supply kit.
An emergency supply kit should include items like:
-Flashlight and battery-powered radio with extra batteries
-Canned and non-perishable food
-Pet food and pet supplies
-Medicine and prescription medication
-Copies of important family papers and documents in watertight holder or stored electronically
It's also a good idea to gas up your vehicles ahead of any storm.