DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Do you know what county you live in? Or what to do when severe weather hits? Well, this week is dedicated to all of that.
It's important to know what county you live in and be able to find it on a map, so you can be prepared for severe weather. (Source: WTVY)
It has been proclaimed as Severe Weather Preparedness Week by Governor Kay Ivey.
Whether it's flooding, damaging winds or tornadoes the purpose is providing everyone with a preparedness plan no matter the situation.
Severe Weather Preparedness Week is providing Alabamians with the knowledge to protect themselves when severe weather hits.
"February coincides with the changing of seasons and if you go ahead and prepare as a family and understand what to do, whether it's an emergency plan to leave. Even at work or in the classroom it can definitely make for a much safer scenario when you plan ahead rather than react in the moment," says WTVY 4WARN meteorologist, Evan Chickvara.
One of the most common mistakes is not knowing what county you live in...
"Do you know what county you live in? Houston County. Can you point it out on the map? Oh dear god, I'm not even from here," said one person we interviewed in downtown Dothan.
"Wait, maybe Coffee County. Do you know where that is on the map? ... ... I do not," said another.
That was most of the responses we received after showing peoplea blank map. We first asked them what county they lived in, and then if they could point it out.
"It would be Alabama, there. Houston County? Yes. Alright good job."
"We're just making sure that local people know where their county is, that way in case of a severe weather alert is issued you can point it out on the map and you'll be able to identify if you need to go to your safe place," 4WARN meteorologist, Matt Breland said.
Another common mistake.. not knowing the difference between a watch and a warning.....
"So another important thing to know is your terminology, a warning is; 'take action now!' With a watch, think 'be vigilant over the next 6 to 8 hours' so that you can be prepared if a warning is issued," Chickvara said.
This week increases the awareness and helps Alabama residents to prepare for potentially dangerous storms.
"There's a Red Cross app which is really good about getting out information, of course, all of your warning systems. We recommend a weather radio, our 4WARN Weather app usually you can customize to your location so it'll let you know when inclement weather is heading your way," Chickvara said.
There will also be a statewide tornado safety drill February 19th to allow schools, businesses, and organizations to know what they would do in the event of a tornado warning.
Starting February 21st-23rd there will also be an Alabama sales tax holiday for weather preparedness items.