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PEARL – Governor Haley Barbour declared Feb. 21- 25 Severe Weather Awareness Week in Mississippi.

The National Weather Service will issue a statewide test tornado warning on NOAA weather radios only on the morning of Feb. 23.  Schools, government agencies and businesses throughout the state are encouraged to participate in the annual tornado drill.

“As we saw with our deadly outbreak of severe weather in Mississippi last spring being prepared now could help save lives when severe weather threatens our state,” said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack.  “Taking some simple steps now like have an emergency supply kit and knowing where you and your family will take shelter during a weather event will help keep everybody safe.”

The most effective preparedness tool a citizen can own is a National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration weather radio, Womack said.  National Weather Service offices throughout the country broadcast local weather information 24 hours a day.  The NOAA weather radio sounds an alarm when local severe weather watches and warnings are issued. NOAA weather radios sell for approximately $30 to $70 at many local retailers.  Warnings may also be received by using a receiver which gets warnings by using the Radio Broadcast Data System which is broadcast on the data subcarrier of FM radio stations.  Mississippi has near complete coverage using this system.  For more on how to get a RBDS receiver go to

“As technology continues to advance we are better able to issue watches and warnings further out during a severe weather event,” said Jackson NWS Meteorologist in Charge Alan Gerard.  “But residents must have a reliable way to receiving those warnings for these advances in technology to be effective.  That means not only having a weather radio in your home but also monitoring local media and checking local forecasts year round to ensure you are aware of any storms that might move through the state.”

Local weather information and alerts for central Mississippi counties are available at Coastal counties can visit  or and northern counties can visit www.srh.noaa.meg.

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