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Alabama Severe Weather Awareness Week helps keep Alabamians on gaurd, safe during inclement conditions


Feb. 5 -9 has been proclaimed the Alabama Severe Weather Awareness Week by Governor Kay Ivey. The National Weather Service (NWS) Offices serving counties in Alabama, Alabama Emergency Management Agency and other supporting organizations ask for your help in providing the public with information about severe weather safety.

Experts say advance planning and increased awareness will help residents of Alabama prepare for potentially deadly storms.

The NWS says severe weather watches and warnings are ineffective if the public does not receive the message or is not knowledgeable of the safety procedures to follow. The purpose of Severe Weather Awareness Week is to provide people with the knowledge necessary to protect their lives when severe weather threatens.

Whether in the form of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes or flash floods, severe weather can develop very quickly. Once a tornado approaches or flooding develops it is too late to start working on a preparedness plan. When severe weather develops, and warnings are issued, Alabamians must take immediate action to protect themselves and others.

The University of Alabama News Center reports tornadoes can happen in any month of the year with April, March and November seeing the most tornadoes in the past 50 years with 575, 400 and 292 twisters, respectively. They can also happen at any time of the day or night with the most occurring during the afternoon hours.

When conditions are right for the formation of tornadoes, the nation’s Storm Prediction Center will issue a Tornado Watch.

A Tornado Warning is issued by the local National Weather Service office when a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar. When a Tornado Warning is issued, it means there’s immediate danger to life and property and you should take action.

If you can’t get to a shelter, go to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building and stay away from windows. If you live on an upper floor of an apartment complex, move to the lowest floor or underground level if available. Never stay in a mobile home or vehicle when a Tornado Warning is issued. Stay in your shelter or safe space until the storm has passed.

Read UA's Ultimate Guide to Planning for Severe Weather here.

Additionally, the state uses Alabama All Hazards Awareness booklet, distributed statewide through emergency management and public safety agencies. For an electronic version of the Alabama All Hazards Awareness Booklet click here.

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