Monday, May 5 2014 7:59 AM EDT2014-05-05 11:59:35 GMT
President Obama declared a major disaster in five Alabama countiesMore >>
President Obama declared a major disaster in Alabama, and Lee County along with Jefferson, Baldwin, Limestone and Mobile Counties will be receiving federal funding to increase recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms.More >>
(FEMA/CDC) - Be alert to changing weather conditions. When there are thunderstorms in your area, turn on your radio or TV to get the latest emergency information from local authorities. Listen for announcementsMore >>
We all know that thunderstorms can happen any time of the year and at any time of the day in Alabama. While all thunderstorms can produce dangerous lightning and flooding downpours, only a few turn severe. A severe thunderstorm is classified as one that produces one or more of the following:
-Winds of 58 MPH or greater -Hail 1" diameter or larger -A Tornado
Now is a great time to go over the difference between a watch and a warning. A WATCH is issued when severe weather is possible in a given area. A WARNING is issued when a severe storm is occurring or imminent in an area. Here's a way to remember the difference. A watch is like a yellow traffic light; you should use caution and prepare to take action. A warning is like a red traffic light, which means you should stop or take action immediately!
So here are some thunderstorm safety tips to think about before the severe storms arrive.
-Before the storm, prepare a severe weather safety kit and place it in your safe place. This kit should include batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, weather radio, water, medication, and any other pertinent items you may need in an emergency. You may want to keep any helmet in that safe place to, in order to protect your head.
-With a kit in order, you should review your family's severe weather plan at least monthly and again when a watch is issued for severe weather.
-If severe weather is expected, put the car in the garage and secure any loose items outdoors.
-Be ready to receive updates on the weather as soon as you know strong or severe storms are in the forecast.
-As a thunderstorm passes, you still want to avoid doors and windows and move into an interior room of your house. Hail and strong winds can break glass and cause injury.
These basic tips will help you and your family prepare for severe weather.
We're available 24/7 online right here at wsfa.com/weather. Like our page WSFA Weather of Facebook and follow us on Twitter @wsfa12weather for the latest automated updates and discussions. Have a NOAA Weather Radio programmed with fresh batteries when severe weather is near. This is a great tool to wake your family if you are sleeping. You can also text your county name to 41212 to receive severe weather text alerts.
Click on the link on the top right labeled National Weather Service Birmingham for more information on Alabama Severe Weather Awareness.
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