Sunday, Feb. 20 kicked off Alabama's Severe Weather Awareness Week. Our state is hit with major storms that can cause thousands of dollars of property damage and leave us mourning loved ones. The goal of this week is to empower you with information to help you and your loved ones weather Alabama's storms.
Educating yourself on how to stay safe during tornadoes, hurricanes, and severe thunderstorms saves lives. Flash flooding is one of the most significant risks during severe weather. It is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Follow these tips before and during the storm to protect yourself and your loved ones from downing and other risks when harsh weather hits.
Safety checklist before the storm
- Check that you have an emergency supply kit that's easily accessible in your home and car with a first aid kit, bottled water, flashlights, batteries, and helmets.
- If you have refrigerated medicines, be sure to have a cooler with ice ready if your power goes out. If you rely on a power-dependent medical device, be sure to have a backup battery pack or generator to power it.
- Charge your smart devices and a battery-operated charger.
- Be sure to have at least two reliable methods for receiving emergency information, such Alabama Power's outage alerts and an NOAA weather radio.
- Unplug unnecessary appliances and electronics, including air conditioners, to ensure they aren't damaged if your power surges after an outage.
- Bring outdoor pets inside and take shelter in a sturdy building. Be sure to stay away from windows, doors, and plugged-in electrical appliances.
Safety tips during the storm
- Stay aware of the latest weather alerts, especially flood warnings. If you see or hear rapidly rising water, quickly get to high ground.
- Don't shower or bathe during the storm.
- Stay inside and off the roads. If you have to go outside, avoid walking or driving through flowing water even if it appears shallow. Flood water can surge quickly, sweeping people and cars away.
- If your vehicle stalls, abandon it and quickly get to higher ground.
Caught outside during a storm?
- Take shelter under short trees that are less likely to attract lightning.
- If lightning strikes near you, squat down resting on the balls of your feet with your hands on your knees or head to minimize your contact with the ground.
Lost power during the storm?
- Keep your fridge and freezer closed until the power comes back on.
- Stay warm with blankets. Never try to use a gas stove or oven as a heater.
- Unplug all your appliances and electronics to prevent damage from an electrical surge when your power is restored.
- If you have a generator, be sure to operate it outdoors and away from windows.
- Check out your municipality's social media accounts or listen to a local radio station for information about available heating and cooling locations near you.
You can find more storm safety tips on Alabama Power's Storm Center at alabamapower.com/storm, along with an interactive online outage map.
If you need to restock your emergency supply kit, take advantage of Alabama's 11th severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday! It will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, and ends at midnight, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. You can purchase common supplies like generators, batteries, cellphone chargers, flashlights, and first-aid kits free of state sales tax during that time. Visit this site for a complete list of tax-free items!
Don't forget to sign up for outage alerts from Alabama Power!