MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- Severe Weather Preparedness Week began Sunday. It’s an effort by Gov. Kay Ivey to remind Alabamians of the importance of preparing ahead in the event of a severe weather threat.
The reminder could not come at a better time with all of the severe flooding Alabama has been experiencing this past week. With more rain in the forecast, it’s important that the community is made aware of steps they can take if the situation worsens.
Whether it’s thunderstorms, tornadoes or flash floods, severe weather can develop quickly and you cannot wait until a tornado makes landfall or floodwaters get out of control to start working on a preparedness plan.
The National Weather Service says you need the following things to have a successful severe weather preparedness plan:
► Proper weather alert warnings
► Knowledge of safety rules
► A reliable method of receiving emergency information
► Designation of an appropriate shelter
► Drills to test the plan you’ve prepared
Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency Director Christina Thornton said Montgomery has an amazing group of first responders in the event of a severe weather emergency.
“Be mindful of any notifications they post out,” Thornton said. “All of them put information over their apps, their social media. Pay attention to that, those warnings can hopefully save lives.”
In Autauga County, a family is trapped in their home after the Alabama River flooded the only road that leads into or out of their house. Ernie Baggett, Autauga County Emergency Management Director, said the family was able to make contact with their County Commissioner, John Thraillkill, and let him know that they were trapped, but safe.
"It's a key part, making sure that if you are in an area like that people know that you're there and that you're either okay or that you need help," said Baggett.
Baggett also said if you are in a situation like this to prepare yourself with supplies for at least three days.
“We have a very good system throughout the state of Alabama where we have mutual aid agreements with other counties so if one county is affected another’s not those assets can move there,” said Bagget. “But as you can imagine it takes some time to get everything in place and find where everybody is, so what we encourage is being prepared for that three-day stay.”
The Severe Weather Preparedness tax-free holiday will start Friday, where all of your emergency supplies can be purchased at a tax-free price. During the weekend-long Alabama Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, Alabama’s 4% state sales tax does not apply to common weather-related supplies costing less than $60 as well as generators costing $1,000 or less, according to alabamaretail.org.
Some cities and counties will also be waving their local tax. For a full list of participating areas, visit revenue.alabama.gov
Be sure to download the WSFA First Alert Weather app for any severe weather alerts.