Severe weather headed to parts of the Mid-South - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Severe weather headed to parts of the Mid-South; residents urged to prepare

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(WMC) - The Shelby County Office of Preparedness is actively monitoring the chance for severe weather. Director Bob Nations says they are talking with the National Weather Service and several other offices.

Officials are keeping a close eye on weather and will activate any first responders if need be. Most importantly, they are asking people to remain vigilant and keep a close eye on the weather as it changes.

The same message is also stressed in Arkansas, which could see the first round of severe weather. Emergency coordinators there say plans are in place, but ultimately people need to have their own.

According to Jonesboro E911 Director Jeff Presley, residents need to prepare and know the safest spots to take shelter in the event of a tornado.

"Let's say you are at a mall or at a big super market and sometimes those storms come up on you really quick, you want to get away from the big open areas, you want to stay away from the glass, anything that can fall on you from overhead," said Presley.

Some retails stores have special plans in place to help others when severe weather strikes. Walmart has a special code to alert associates about the weather and help get customers to safety.

Almost three years ago to the date, a major tornado outbreak happened in Mississippi. It was April 27, 2011 when a tornado hit Smithville. Thirty-six people died across the state that day.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is keeping a close eye on the storms as well, coordinating with FEMA.

Director Robert Latham is asking people to stay safe.

"For fear of just crying wolf too many times, I just don't want the public just to get complacent because we know that we can save lives if people take the actions that they should take," added Latham.

The State Emergency Operations Center partially activated at 1 p.m. this afternoon.

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