State bracing for Tropical Storm Karen

Published 9:38 am Friday, October 4, 2013

Alabama residents are bracing for Tropical Storm Karen’s arrival.

Forecasters expect Karen to make landfall this weekend as a weak hurricane or tropical storm.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say Karen’s winds have decreased, but that the storm system could drop as much as 12 inches of rain and produce a 4-foot storm surges in some areas.

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Gov. Robert Bentley urged Alabama residents to prepare for the storm’s arrival.

“On the state level, we will be prepared for a possible emergency response,” he said in a statement. “On the individual level, people play an important role in community preparedness.  Make sure you monitor local forecasts.  Review your family emergency response plans.  Understand this storm can affect people inland as well, not just on the Coast.  Now is the time to think ahead and prepare in case Karen directly impacts Alabama.”

Butler County Emergency Management Director Shirley Sandy also urged caution, and said she would be working closely with government and non-government agencies to help minimize damages and respond to an event should the effects of the storm reach Butler County.

“I would ask that the public to continue to monitor this storm,” she said. “In addition, if they have not already prepared their 72-hour bags, this would be a great time to do so.”

A 72-hour bag should contain items needed in the event of an emergency or disaster such as a flashlight, a battery-operated radio, batteries, whistle, pocket knife, emergency cash in small denominations, sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat, some water and food, photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes, list of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers, list of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food, copy of health insurance and identification cards, extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items, prescription medications and first aid supplies, toothbrush and toothpaste and extra keys to your house and vehicle.