Severe Weather Awareness Week for 2019 starts today

Severe Weather Awareness Week for 2019 starts today
Families try to salvage what they can in Birmingham and Midfield after storms hit Christmas Day 2015. (Wynter Byrd/Alabama NewsCenter)

Knowledge is power, a power that could SAVE YOUR LIFE!!!

Images and information from NWS Birmingham.

The week of February 17th-22nd has been declared Severe Weather Awareness Week by Governor Kay Ivey. NWS Birmingham, Alabama EMA, and other supporting organizations are asking for help to provide the public with severe weather safety information, and the AlabamaWx Weather Blog team are glad to help. We’ll have special infographics to go along with each severe weather safety post that is made throughout the week. Governor Ivey has also declared the weekend of February 22nd-24th as an Alabama sales tax holiday for severe weather preparedness items.

There are many aspects to being prepared for severe weather, but first and foremost, KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!!! No matter what you have in your severe weather plan, it will never be complete until you can pinpoint your location on a map. Take a few moments NOW to learn some local geography so you can be more prepared when severe weather strikes. Don’t just stop at your home location, learn surrounding counties and communities. This extra bit of knowledge will help you determine if storms in other areas are heading your way. To help you with this, NWS Birmingham has put together a Story Map that highlights some information about each of the 39 counties in Central Alabama. It can be found here.

Here are the general topics that will be covered each day of the week:
• Monday, Feb. 18: Severe Thunderstorms
• Tuesday, Feb. 19: Flooding & Flash Flooding
• Wednesday, Feb. 20: Tornadoes
• Thursday, Feb. 21: Lightning
• Friday, Feb. 22: Receiving Weather Alerts

In Alabama, we do not conduct a statewide tornado drill. However, we encourage everyone to conduct their own safety drill on Wednesday, Feb. 20th. This “tornado safety drill” will be accomplished in conjunction with our weekly NOAA All-Hazards Radio Test that will be run at a special time of 9 am. An actual tornado warning WILL NOT sound, but this is an excellent opportunity for schools, civic organizations and businesses around Central Alabama to practice what they would do in the event of a tornado warning.

Please note that some NOAA Weather Radio models do not have an audible sound for the Routine Weekly Test (they only show a flashing light). If you are conducting a drill, please go ahead and conduct the drill even if your weather radio does not audibly alert.

At the end of the week, the state of Alabama will hold a sales tax holiday for severe weather preparedness items. Don’t miss this great opportunity to purchase any items you may be missing from your emergency kit. Below is a list of tax exempt items. You can find out if your city/town is participating by clicking here.

Please continue to check back on each day this week for a new severe weather topic.

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