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Gov. Ivey declares ‘Severe Weather Awareness Week’, precedes sales tax holiday weekend

The week of February 18-23, by proclamation of Governor Kay Ivey, is “Severe Weather Awareness Week.”

Specifically citing the deadly tornado outbreaks of April 2011, the proclamation is an attempt to coordinate county EMAs, the National Weather Service, and “local emergency management” to encourage citizens to create and maintain emergency kits and make plans “and practice with family members to insure everyone knows what to do and where to go before, during, and after [a storm].”

The AEMA will highlight a different potential emergency each day of the week:

  • Monday, Feb. 19: Severe Thunderstorms and Watches/Warnings.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 20: Flash Flooding.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 21: Tornado Safety and Preparedness.
  • Thursday, Feb. 22: Lightning.
  • Friday, Feb. 23: Receiving Severe Weather Information.

Allocating each day to a separate emergency situation will allow the agencies to focus on specific aspects of preparation. For example, on Wednesday, “The NWS is encouraging everyone to conduct their own “tornado safety drills” in businesses and homes.

Butler County EMA director Kris Ware says her agency plans to use social media to get information out throughout the week.

The Severe Weather Awareness Week ends just as the weather preparedness sales tax holiday weekend begins.

The sales tax holiday lasts from Feb. 23 to 25, covering items including cell phone chargers, duct tape, plywood, first-aid kits, and much more.

A complete list is on the Alabama Department of Revenue website.

Weather radios, another tax-free item, will be highlighted on Friday as part of “receiving severe weather information.”

Ware says the Butler County EMA “will be glad to program [weather] radios” for anyone who stops by the EMA office.