North Alabama EMA director shares tornado safety tips

When it comes to the risk of tornadoes, it is important to always be prepared.

Posted: Jan 26, 2021 9:18 PM
Updated: Jan 26, 2021 9:20 PM

North Alabama has its fair share of severe weather every year. 

When it comes to the risk of tornadoes, it is important to always be prepared. Monday's tornado in Fultondale served as a reminder of the tragedy Mother Nature can cause. 

"We've all been so wrapped up in COVID response, and you know, protecting ourselves from that and thinking about that, but severe weather is quickly approaching, so we do need to be prepared for severe weather," Rita White said.

To be prepared, Limestone County EMA Director Rita White said make sure you are paying attention to weather alerts. You can watch on TV, listen to the radio, or download the WAAY 31 Weather App to your phone.

"Have multiple methods to receive the warnings," White said.

She adds, have an emergency bag ready to go. In it may be items like a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, nonperishable foods and even a helmet.

"People laugh about putting a helmet on, but it's actually a great idea," White said. "If you have bicycle helmets for children, put those on them. There's nothing wrong sitting in a bicycle helmet if you go under a tornado warning, because it might help save your life."

If you decide to take cover in your home, Whit said to find a room with no windows.

"Your hallway or closet could be the safest location and cover yourself with pillows and blankets to help protect yourself from debris," White said. 

But if you live in a mobile home, she urges you to find a tornado shelter. There are several located throughout North Alabama. 

If you are hesitant because of the ongoing pandemic, she said to wear a mask, try to social distance, but keep in mind how serious the immediate risk of the storm is.

"It's more important for your physical safety just to be in the shelter than it is to not be," White said.

Make sure you know where the closest storm shelter is. Click here for a list. 

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