Tis the season for severe weather

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Mother Nature never gives enough warning when she turns violent, and Alabama often shows her power in a storm’s aftermath.

Since &uot;she&uot; gives little warning, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency announced that Severe Weather Awareness week will take place Feb. 23-27.

This special week is a time for all Alabamians to learn and review the proper safety precautions to protect lives during severe weather.

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Throughout the week the National Weather Service, Alabama Emergency Management Agency, and American Red Cross Chapters will conduct educational activities to help people learn how to prevent injuries and deaths from tornadoes, damaging winds, flash floods, lightening and hail.

Butler County will do its part to participate in the program and educate our region on storm and severe weather safety.

&uot;We will have drills in the next week so we want people to listen and be aware of what they are supposed to do,&uot; said Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Luman. &uot;We just want them to think about it and be ready when the time comes.&uot;

Butler County last saw devastating weather in 2001 when tornadoes swept through the area causing damage to several homes.

Though there has been no widespread damage since that time in Butler County Luman felt that people should always be on their toes.

&uot;You can just never tell when something like that is going to happen,&uot; said Luman. &uot;These things can happen so fast and it is just important that people be aware of that and listen for warnings.&uot;

Unfortunately, Greenville is not equipped with warning sirens that are found in larger areas.

However, Luman felt that people may still stay informed without this equipment.

&uot;Whenever I talk to people I always try to talk about radios,&uot; said Luman. &uot;Usually if people listen to their weather radios they can get a timely warning and take the proper precautions.

Fires and tornadoes are the two biggest problems that face Butler County.

For this reason it is important for the emergency Management Agency to make sure that people are able to act fast.

Luman said the proper precautions are being taken.

&uot;We test our equipment on a weekly basis,&uot; said Luman. &uot;Schools also have regular drills to make sure that we all know what to do.&uot;

Luman also wanted to assure the people of Butler County that he is on the job.

&uot;I’m here anytime something happens,&uot; said Luman. &uot;We have systems on the computer where I can look and see what is going on in the state. Through this I can tell what is happening in Butler County, or what is going to happen.&uot;

The southeastern United States is one of the most active weather systems in the world. Several severe weather systems strike every year with some having deadly results.

Technology has aided in our ability to warn people of such weather.

However, early warnings cannot save lives unless people are prepared.

Because of this people are encouraged to asses their readiness throughout the week and make any necessary changes.