Residents should review storm plans for family, business

With a tropical storm system threatening the Texas coast and another tropical storm could be in the Gulf within a week, Mayor A.J. Holloway says this is the time for residents to be reviewing their personal and business storm plans.

The fifth depression of the Atlantic hurricane season formed late Tuesday and was expected to become a tropical storm before making landfall in Texas on Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

At 10 a.m., the depression was centered 250 miles east of Brownsville, Texas, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. It was moving toward the west-northwest at around 14 mph. Its maximum sustained wind speed was near 30 mph, and forecasters said it was expected to strengthen. If it reaches the 39 mph threshold for a tropical storm, it would be named Erin.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Dean got a little stronger but was far out in the Atlantic. At 10 a.m., the storm was centered about 1,045 miles east of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Its top sustained wind speed had reached 60 mph, up from 40 mph on Tuesday. Some strengthening was expected within the next day and forecasters said it could become a hurricane by Friday. Hurricanes have sustained wind of at least 74 mph.

“Neither of these storms poses a threat to Biloxi at this point, “ Holloway said, “but this is the time when you should be reviewing your plans for how you’re going to prepare your family, your property and your business. It’s not difficult to do, it’s just something that takes some thought and planning.”

Among the questions to consider:

If you decided to evacuate, where would you go, and which route would you take? Have you stored important papers in a secure location? Have you made arrangements for care of your family pet? Have you thought about getting an
adequate supply for any prescription medications you may need? And, finally, have
you assembled the necessary items for your personal hurricane kit?

Said Holloway: “The key is to be in a good position to make a sound decision on the action you need to take.”

To see a checklist of things you should do before a storm threatens, click here.

More info online

—Visit any Biloxi library to obtain a copy of the city’s Storm and Flood Preparedness guide, which was mailed to all Biloxians in May. The guide includes a storm tracking map. The guide also has a page of information translated for Vietnamese and Spanish readers. To see an online version of the mailout, click here.

—You can see real-time radar from a number of National Weather Service radar stations along the Gulf of Mexico through the city’s web site. To visit the radar site, click here.