Prepare now for severe weather threat

Published 5:40 pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014

We’re four days into Severe Weather Awareness Week for 2014, and it’s a good time to take stock and make sure you are ready in the event of severe weather.

As we all know, storms and dangerous weather can happen at any time. In Alabama, the threat from storms can range from ice storms and snow to hurricanes to flash floods and, yes, tornadoes. And, as the National Weather Service reminds us, this severe weather can happen at any time of the year:

• Tornadoes of April 11, 2013: Seven tornadoes touched down in Central Alabama as a squall line and discrete supercells moved across the are during the afternoon and evening hours.

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• Severe Weather of Jan. 30, 2013: Five tornadoes, as well as damaging straight-line winds and flooding, impacted the area as part of a larger storm system that moved across the Lower Mississippi River and Tennessee River Valleys. • Christmas Tornadoes of 2012: Eight tornadoes made their way through the southern counties of central Alabama, including Pike County Luckily, only two people were injured as this was another example of tornado touchdowns at night.

• Tornado Outbreak of Jan. 23, 2012: 11 tornadoes touched down around central Alabama during the morning hours of Jan. 23. Two people lost their lives and 76 people were injured.

• Tornado Outbreak of April 15: As part of a system which wreaked havoc across the eastern half of the United States on April 14-16, 30 tornadoes developed across central Alabama.

• And, of course, the historic tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011, during which the weather service recorded 62 confirmed tornadoes in the state.

Dangerous weather is a real and constant threat here in Alabama. And we do well to take time this week to inventory and restock our emergency supplies (weather radios, flashlights and batteries, blankets, etc.) and to reassess our plan for responding to emergencies.

A sales tax holiday this weekend offers an added incentive for restocking those needed supplies, and perhaps provided an added impetus for each of us to be weather aware and safe.