Officials say you need to prepare early for tornado season

Preparing for tornadoes
Published: Feb. 5, 2022 at 9:24 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 5, 2022 at 10:39 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Hale County crews are doing damage assessments after a deadly EF-2 tornado ripped through Sawyerville earlier this week.

More than 60 homes were hit hard by the tornado in Sawyerville and officials with the EMA said not everyone in the county was prepared.

“It’s not springtime yet,” Hale County EMA Director Russell Weeden said. “So, a lot of people were kind of caught off guard. They didn’t take it as serious as they would in March or April. Usually everybody has a heads up during March and April, so they were like ‘ah yeah, it’s going to be too cold’, so they had their own reasons for not believing a tornado was coming, even though we went under a tornado warning.”

Weeden said more than 60 homes were hit hard, 35 are unlivable and 20 are destroyed. He said most of the destroyed were mobile homes.

“If you don’t have a storm shelter, at least go to a site built home,” Weeden said. “Cause, you see very few site built homes destroyed today, but those trailers do not fair well at all.”

With tornado season right around the corner, there are things you can do to prepare.

“We really advertised weather radios, that way they can keep up with the weather no matter what month it is,” Weeden said.

“Have that kit with three days’ worth of emergency supplies in case we have loss of power,” John De Block with the Birmingham National Weather Service said. “If you are fortunate enough and have a shelter, sweep it out, get the cobwebs out, make sure everything is ready to go because we are coming up on that busy season here in just a few weeks.”

De Block with the National Weather Service said it is also important to not rely on storm sirens as your warning. He said they aren’t meant to be heard inside your house, and you will likely miss the warning.


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