STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Go to storm shelter or social distance?

Should you go to a public storm shelter or continue to practice social distancing?

Posted: Apr 10, 2020 3:41 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2020 3:38 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - Severe weather is possible Wednesday night, April 22 and Thursday morning, April 23.

Open this link for severe weather coverage.

Should you go to a public storm shelter or continue to practice social distancing?

The National Weather Service provided the following advice on April 9.

This spring, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Mississippi State Department of Health, (MSDH), and the National Weather Service (NWS) are offering the following guidance for how to take shelter from severe weather during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The need to practice social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19 brings added complications to taking shelter from severe weather. However, state and federal officials agree that your top priority should be to protect yourself from a potential tornado.

Officials recommend sheltering from tornadoes inside your home when possible. If you don't have a below-ground storm shelter, well-constructed homes and buildings provide life-saving protection from many of Mississippi's tornadoes. Take shelter in a closet, bathroom, interior hallway or other interior room with no windows on the lowest level of the house or building. For mobile home residents, you should abandon the mobile home in favor of a sturdy building during severe weather. This alternative structure should be a part of a severe weather plan that is identified well in advance.

If your family typically takes refuge in a public storm shelter in your community, first check with your community shelter managers to ensure they will still be open and if there are any special considerations to plan for due to COVID-19.

Now is the time to explore the best options to keep you safe from severe weather as well as limit your exposure to the virus. Don't wait until a tornado warning is issued to make a plan.

Wherever you choose to shelter from a tornado: take as many precautions as possible to inhibit the spread of COVID-19 as best as you can, continue social distancing, and frequent handwashing.

The best way to prepare for severe weather during a pandemic is to stay informed of the latest weather forecast from the NWS and local media: as well as the latest recommendations regarding COVID-19 from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Mississippi State Department of Health, and local authorities.

Open this link for a list of local storm shelters.

Follow WTVA Weather on social media - Follow on Twitter | Follow on Facebook

Download the WTVA Weather app - iOS version | Android version

Sign up for WeatherCall - Open this link

What’s the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning?

Safe and unsafe places in severe weather - open this link

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307836

Reported Deaths: 7119
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
Wayne261341
Leake261173
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213373
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 80°
Columbus
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 78°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 77°
Clouds increase a bit more on Tuesday, though there will still be plenty of sunshine at times. Temperatures will remain very warm. An isolated sprinkle or shower is possible later in the day, though rain chances are much more likely into Wednesday as a cold front passes.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather