Hurricane preparedness week in Alabama

By Staff
Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow
Alabamians are unfortunately no strangers to dangerous weather.
This spring we've seen our share of tornados and dangerous weather systems move through our state. Each front has brought much needed rain, slowly pulling us out of the drought of the past two years.
But the winds and hail have caused damage, and we continue to hold our breath when violent storms approach.
Now, just around the corner is hurricane season, which officially begins June 1 and runs into November.
What we have learned the hard way over the past decade is that hurricanes don't just affect the gulf coast. All of our state can be affected by these storms, from power outages to flooding and damaging winds as the hurricanes move inland.
Destructive storms like Ivan and Katrina taught us that we must be prepared for severe weather. The governor has proclaimed the week of May 25-31 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in Alabama.
The National Weather Service, in cooperation with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, will be drawing attention to the threat of hurricanes this summer and fall, and provide some useful tips to get ready for the tropical storm season.
The theme for Alabama this year is "the first 72 are on you," encouraging everyone to have enough supplies to get through three days after a major storm. State officials note that preparedness is not just for those who live close to the gulf, but the entire state. Inland dangers from hurricanes include high winds, tornadoes and inland flooding.
Every home should have a disaster supply kit that contains at least one gallon of water for each person in your home for 3 to 7 days, and enough non-perishable food for the same amount of time.
Make sure you have other things like flashlights, extra batteries, radio, first aid kits, and even a non-electric can opener. Seems basic until a storm hits and then you realize that some important things are missing. For the full list, go to www.srh.noaa.gov/mob/2008pamphlet.pdf.
The last two hurricane seasons have been mild. This has given our state Emergency Management Agency more time to prepare for this season.
That is a good thing because in this uncertain period, experts believe that Alabama is overdue for another extreme storm.
State law enforcement is also gearing up for the season. The Alabama Department of Public Safety just accomplished its practice run closing I-65 southbound and directing all four lanes of the interstate north.
Anyone who has tried to evacuate from the gulf coast, or even just tried to go north after a holiday weekend, knows that there is only one main artery north and that is I-65. The troopers are going to be prepared to reverse the flow of traffic to get people away from an oncoming storm quickly and safely.
Let us hope that we won't need to use the plans we've made and the supplies we've gathered during the upcoming hurricane season. But as the state authorities say, we need to prepare now because it's not a matter of "if," but "when."
Johnny Mack Morrow is a state representative for Franklin County. His column appears each Wednesday.

Franklin County

University of Alabama announces spring graduates

Franklin County

Dean’s, president’s lists students named for UA spring term

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Hugh Plott

Galleries

PHOTOS: Inaugural downtown Russellville Art Crawl winners

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville Public Library holds princess, pirates bounce party

Franklin County

Northwest Shoals Community College signs 24 students in FAME class

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

News

Russellville High School varsity cheerleaders attend UCA cheer camp

Franklin County

NWSCC receives $18,000 in grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

News

Russellville equine therapy visits library program

News

Steam locomotive delivery to Red Bay delayed, arrives July 1

News

Local author holds book signing at RPL

Franklin County

Former Russellville resident performs ‘Miracle Worker’

News

Presenting: Miss Phil Campbell

Franklin County

All American Tang Soo Do students recognized

News

Russellville High School students sign to pursue fine arts careers

Franklin County

Football Funday, special needs probowl take place June 15

Galleries

PHOTOS: RMS students take the stage for spring sing

News

Russellville member named among finalists for GFWC Jennie Award

East Franklin

East Franklin Junior High celebrates May 21 graduation

Belgreen

Belgreen Class of 2024 celebrates graduation

Franklin County

Local churches plan Vacation Bible School programs

Galleries

PHOTOS: Tharptown High School Wildcats graduate

x