Take severe weather seriously

Published 10:33 pm Monday, February 22, 2010

There is a reason we observe Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama. It’s not so newspapers can fill an empty space with a press release year after year. What we hope is that the message of preparedness will click with someone like it never has before, potentially saving lives in the process.

It’s our tendency to ignore the possibility that we could be put in harm’s way by approaching severe weather. That’s why it’s often called “the unthinkable,” but the best way to prevent something is by preparing for the worst-case scenario.

We have the technology to be warned about severe weather before it is upon us through devices like NOAA weather radios. These are available from pretty much any electronics store for a reasonable price. Why not get one?

Just think, knowing about a tornado a few seconds earlier could mean the difference between life and death. Having the knowledge and taking appropriate action to seek shelter could save your life.

We practice tornado drills in schools because we pretty much have to. Businesses also have protocol they must follow, so why not do it in our homes? Sacrificing one evening to go over the basics with your family is not much to ask compared to the risk of not having a plan.

It’s important to know where the safest areas of your home are during a storm. Also, it’s vital to know what to do and where to go if you happen to be caught outside during severe weather.

This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week. What better time to get prepared? A free information booklet is available from the National Weather Service to answer these and many more questions. For more information, visit the National Weather Service Web site at http://www.srh.weather.gov/bmx.