MONTGOMERY- As intensely cold temperatures continue to have a severe impact throughout Alabama, state agencies are working together to ensure the safety of residents across the state. According to the Birmingham National Weather Service the main concern is the long duration of the cold air outbreak. It is imperative that residents take the threat and hazards associated with extreme winter weather seriously.
“Weather this cold and severe is rare in Alabama,” said Governor Bob Riley. “It’s important to be aware of the hazards that exist and be prepared. I urge all Alabamians to heed the caution messages of our state agencies, and make sure their families and friends do the same.”
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency is working with key agencies to ensure the safety of Alabama residents. AEMA is also prepared to support the county emergency management agencies with necessary resources if requested.
“Now is the time for residents to review their emergency plan and make sure they have all the basic supplies in their emergency kit to sustain themselves in their homes and cars, if they are without power or essential resources,” said AEMA Director Brock Long.
The Alabama Department of Transportation has personnel and resources positioned across the state to assist with their response capabilities. For information on road closures in your area, visit ALDOT at www.dot.alabama.gov
The Alabama Department of Public Safety urges motorists to avoid travel when driving conditions are treacherous. If travel is imperative, state troopers encourage motorists to drive with extreme caution during the frigid weather conditions, as wintry weather has the potential to produce icy roads and dangerous driving conditions. Motorists with cell phones may dial *HP (*47) toll free to report roadway emergencies to the nearest state trooper post.
The Alabama Department of Public Health cautions the public to remember the risks associated with hypothermia.
Abnormally cold weather can also increase the threat of home fires due to improper use of alternate heating sources.
Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer, said, "We urge the public to exercise caution with space heaters and fuel-burning appliances in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas such as garages because of the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. If a generator is used, be sure to follow all safety precautions such as using a carbon monoxide monitor with fresh batteries and to place the generator at least 30 feet away from your residence."
Information about heating source safety is available at www.adph.org/injuryprevention