BILOXI — Hurricane season is under way and the Mississippi Department of Transportation is urging South Mississippi residents to prepare now.

“Hurricane season is well under way and the time to prepare is now; don’t wait until a storm is being tracked to start putting a plan together,” said Southern District Transportation Commissioner Tom King. “When preparing for a hurricane, it’s important to have an evacuation plan for when the time comes.”

Longtime residents should reevaluate their hurricane plans, especially the evacuation route. Highway 57 has been removed from the list of official evacuation routes because of a bridge replacement in Jackson County. The official evacuation routes can be found in MDOT’s 2019 Hurricane Evacuation Guide.

The 2019 Hurricane Evacuation Guide is an essential resource and just a click away. Order a free copy today at GoMDOT.com/hurricanes. Guides are also available in Spanish and Vietnamese. Also available are children’s hurricane activity books, state maps and more.

The guide features information to assist in developing a preparedness plan such as evacuation routes, contraflow information, radio coverage areas through Mississippi Public Broadcasting and important contact information from the Mississippi Highway Patrol, American Red Cross, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and bordering state DOTs and highway patrols. Individuals and families will find vital information about shelters, pet care, lodging and travel resources. 

Residents should plan where to stay in the event of an evacuation. Hotel rooms near the evacuated areas may not be available, so residents are encouraged to plan to stay with family or friends not in the affected area when possible. Also, residents should let family, friends and neighbors know their evacuation plans. That way it will be easier to get in touch with them if needed.

Above all, people living in areas that could potentially be affected by hurricanes should begin planning before a storm develops in the Gulf of Mexico. By planning early residents can avoid making hasty plans that may not be the best to ensure the safety of them or their family.

If a hurricane does strike, MDOT first responders are prepared to immediately clear debris and inspect state-maintained routes for emergency responders and residents to ensure transportation returns to normal as quickly as possible.

For up to date traffic information, visit  MDOTtraffic.com or like and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

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