National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Banner Banner Banner Banner Banner


February 20-25, 2023 is Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Mississippi and Louisiana. The National Weather Service, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and other supporting organizations ask for your help in providing the public with information about severe weather safety. Advanced planning and increased awareness will help residents of Mississippi and Louisiana survive these deadly storms.

  Severe Weather Preparedness Week Schedule
Monday, February 20th
Severe Thunderstorms
Tuesday, February 21st
Flash Flooding
Wednesday, February 22nd
Tornado Safety There will be a statewide tornado drill in conjunction with the Routine Weekly Test at 9:15 am.
Thursday, February 23rd
Friday, February 24th
Methods of receiving weather warnings
Saturday, February 25th
Mobile Home/Manufactured Home Tornado Safety


Severe weather watches and warnings are ineffective if the public does not receive the message or is not knowledgeable of the safety procedures to follow. The purpose of Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week is to provide people with the knowledge necessary to protect their lives when severe weather threatens.

Whether in the form of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flash floods, severe weather can develop very quickly. Once a tornado approaches, or flooding develops, it is too late to start working on a preparedness plan. When severe weather develops, and warnings are issued, we must take immediate action to protect ourselves. Preparing for severe weather is the theme of this program.

 Louisville EF-4 Tornado

Looking northeast on Highway 25 in Leake County towards Louisville EF-4 tornado on April 28, 2014.
(Courtesy of Mark Anderton)

So how does one prepare for severe weather? For a severe weather preparedness plan to be successful, it must include the following:

  • knowledge of terminology such as watches and warnings,
  • a thorough knowledge of safety rules to follow when severe weather strikes,
  • a reliable method of receiving emergency information,
  • the designation of an appropriate shelter,
  • and drills to test the plan.

Tornado Drill on Wednesday, February 22nd.

This will be conducted at 9:15 am, using the Routine Weekly Test through NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards. We strongly encourage local emergency managers, school officials, businesses, and home owners to participate in this drill. The best way to learn what to do when severe weather approaches is to practice when the weather is not threatening.


Severe Weather Preparedness Week Video Chat
A video chat involving Mississippi National Weather Service offices, the Storm Prediction Center, and the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center was held to discuss various severe weather preparedness topics. This video chat can be watched in its entirely below.

Additional Information
Here are a couple of links to helpful information: Mississippi Tornado Statistics and NOAA Weather Radio

You are also invited to contact the National Weather Service for interviews, information, or answers to any questions you may have. In many instances, we are also able to present severe weather awareness programs to civic and industrial organizations, schools, amateur radio clubs, and hospital staffs.

For more information, contact any of the following:

  • Bill Parker, Meteorologist in Charge
    National Weather Service Office: Jackson, MS
  • Todd Beal, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
    National Weather Service Office: Memphis, TN
    901-544-0405 or 0401
  • Jessica Chace, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
    National Weather Service Office: Mobile, AL
    251-633-6443 ext. 223
  • Lauren Nash, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
    National Weather Service Office: New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA
  • Malary White
    Mississippi Emergency Management Agency External Affairs