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Alabama bracing for possible encounter with Fay

Gov. Bob Riley has directed state agencies to make preparations for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Fay.

“I cannot emphasize how important preparedness is during severe weather,” Riley said. “When faced with potentially disastrous weather, all of us must take the necessary precautions to protect lives and property.”

Brock Long, Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, is urging southwest coastal residents to closely monitor the storm’s progress, heed the instructions of state and local officials, and review and update family emergency plans.

The State Emergency Operating Center will activate tomorrow (Saturday) at level three and closely monitor TS Fay. AEMA has been in contact with our local Emergency Management directors and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“However, individual preparedness is crucial,” said Director Long. “Now is the time to update and replenish those family disaster kits to ensure that ample food, fresh water, prescription medication, and other emergency supplies are sufficient for at least 72-hours in case of power outages or flooding.

Comprehensive tips for disaster kits and family disaster plans are available online http://ema.alabama.gov, www.fema.gov, www.ready.gov, http://www.dhs.gov/ and www.redcross.org, but all stockpiles should include as a minimum: first aid kits, emergency food and water, prescription medication, emergency cash and credit cards, sturdy shoes and a change of clothes. But solid planning is only part of the equation, and Riley urges all residents to be aware of the changing risks.

The Alabama Departments of Transportation and Public Safety are also monitoring the situation, and all employees are on alert for any possible road or travel disruptions.

The National Weather Service is predicting heavy rain in counties in the path of TS Fay the state. It’s important to be aware some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days. But flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes. If evacuation is ordered by state or local officials, citizens should secure their homes, turn off electricity and water, and leave as soon as possible. Meanwhile, citizens should listen to news broadcasts to monitor the progress and direction of the storm.