Emergency management official gives tips to prepare for severe weather

Emergency management official gives tips to prepare for severe weather

RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - Ahead of Saturday’s expected severe weather, News Leader 9 wants you to be prepared.

People need to keep in mind where their safe space is and what supplies to have ready just in case the weather hits them.

Every severe weather event brings its own experiences.

“That was the first time I ever legitimately had ever been scared of a tornado,” Courtney LeBleu said. "We’ve had a couple of close calls since we’ve lived here but nothing like that.”

“So we started singing a hymn," Bonnie Jean-Schmidt said. "And it was really amazing how it calmed everybody down. Even when the storm approached, we could hear it and it was so loud. There was still a little bit of a calm feeling.”

These mothers said it only takes one strong storm to change instincts and become better prepared.

“Be as prepared as you can," Bobbie Mathis said. "Proof your plan ahead of time. If you think you’re ready, you may not be. So, take action now and throughout the year to make sure you really are ready.”

What ways should you prepare?

Russell County Emergency Management Director Bob Franklin is sharing five things to keep in mind.

First, have a safety plan in mind and an emergency kit ready to go. Also, have multiple ways of receiving weather alerts and know where you are on a map. Lastly, know where to take shelter.

“We want people to think ahead of time," Franklin said. "Now is the time to be planning for what’s coming this weekend.”

Although the storm is the most potent one the Chattahoochee Valley has seen in a while, Franklin doesn’t want to scare anyone.

“I would be very aware of my surroundings,” Franklin said. "I don’t want to tell people to just hunker down and be scared. We want to continue our daily activities as we’re doing but be aware of what’s coming at you and where it’s at. Then, if it’s close, then we need to start seeking shelter and making sure we’re safe.”

One thing Franklin also is warning about is being on the road during the storms Saturday. If you can avoid the roads during the heaviest part of the storms, he said it’s best to be in a stable building.

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