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Health officials urge residents to get ready, get prepared for Delta

For many of us, hurricane season is routine and we are old hats at this. But every storm, every situation is different.

With that in mind — and as the wind, rain and associated power outages from Hurricane Delta are only hours away from the Vicksburg and Warren County area — we felt there were some storm-related items to go over. 

In a release from the Mississippi State Department of Health Thursday, health officials offered a reminder that any storm can bring about flash flooding, high winds and tornadoes. And as close as the path of Delta is expected to come to Warren County, those threats are even more likely.

Officials also urged the preparation of a disaster kit that included the following items at the very minimum:

  • Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person). 
  • A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food. 
  • A first aid kit and manual. 
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries. 
  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets. 
  • Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets, or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach. 
  • Prescription medicines and special medical needs. 
  • Disposable cleaning cloths, such as “baby wipes” for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available. 
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit and fire extinguisher. 

More information on disaster supply kits can be found online at HealthyMS.com/kit. 

Also, due to power loss, health officials reminded that food might not be safe to eat during and after a hurricane. 

  • Throw away food that may have come in contact with flood or stormwater. 
  • Throw away food that has an unusual odor, color or texture. 
  • Throw away foods (including meat, poultry, fish and eggs) that have been above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more. 
  • Throw away canned foods that are bulging, opened or damaged. Thawed food that contains ice crystals or is 40 degrees or below can be refrozen or cooked. 
  • Food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps, twist caps, flip tops, snap-open, and home-canned foods should be discarded if they have come into contact with floodwater because they cannot be disinfected. 

While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

Thankfully, as Delta has moved closer to making landfall, it has appeared to weaken. That in no way, however, should give us pause on preparations. Get ready, get prepared.