TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Being ready for severe storms, tornadoes and flooding are all part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
A tornado drill announced by the state is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
Tupelo Fire Chief Thomas Walker says it is pertinent to have a plan in place if strong winds hit.
"Find a central place under a stairwell or a storage room inside," said Walker. "If nothing else, get under a heavy desk and cover your head."
Experts also say to stay clear of windows, and if you are in your car, protect your head.
"You can try to turn at right angles to try and avoid the tornado," shared Walker.
The chief recalls responding in 2014 when the station got calls about a tornado in Tupelo. It damaged businesses and significantly hit St. Luke United Methodist Church.
"It was a traumatic, dramatic experience," said Youth Pastor Jason Martin. "I was in the church with two other people and we were tucked away in a closet."
Martin says the front part of the church where the steeple is now was most heavily hit; for him, it's not the first or second time facing a tornado.
"I've actually been in a building that was hit on three separate occasions," he said.
A recent study by Northern Illinois University says tornado frequency is rising in states including Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.
"I would say that we're in somewhat of a tornado alley, even though it's nothing like the Great Plains," said Walker.
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