Tornado Reminder

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Sirens will go off across the state Wednesday to remind Alabamians of the danger of tornadoes.

The sirens will go off as part of Severe Weather Awareness week. Its a yearly exercise to remind Alabama residents to make a tornado plan and to seek safety when severe weather threatens.

Tornadoes in Alabama killed 13 people and injured 123 in 2002.

The sirens will have particular significance in the Walker County town of Carbon Hill. Ten people were killed when two tornadoes hit the area on the night of Nov. 10.

Walker County Emergency Management Area Director Johnny Burnette said people would prepare for severe weather if they could have seen the destruction caused by the Carbon Hill storms.

Lightning, according to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, caused six deaths and 23 injuries across the state in 2002 -- that's the highest death toll in the last 15 years.

There were no flash flood-related deaths or injuries in 2002, due in part to the extensive drought conditions.

EMA officials said severe thunderstorms wind reached damaging force at least 238 times last year resulting in two injuries. Extended Web Coverage

Tornado Facts

  • Tornado Watch: This is issued when the conditions in the atmosphere are suitable for the formation of tornadoes.

  • Tornado Warning: This is issued when a tornado has touched ground, has been indicated by Doppler, and/or there is a funnel cloud in the area.

What to do in case of a Tornado Warning

  • If in your home, go to an interior room on the lowest floor. Stay away from glass and wide-span roofs. Crouch down and cover your head.

  • If in your car or mobile home, abandon them and go to a designated shelter or find a ditch and stay as low as possible.

Tornado Myths

  • Do not open your windows during a tornado. This will only take time and can cause you to not be able to take adequate shelter. If a tornado is close enough to effect the pressure inside the house, then it is hitting your house.

  • Do not try to outrun or out drive a tornado. Tornadoes can travel an excess of 100 MPH. Finding the nearest shelter or ditch is the best form of safety.

Source: National Weather Service contributed to this report