Severe weather tax free holiday renewed for 2017 amid recent tornados

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. --In light of the recent severe weather, Madison County commissioners are trying to make sure our communities are prepared.

At a meeting on Wednesday, Madison County commissioners discussed ways to help citizens get prepared.  Madison County Commissioner Chairman, Dale Strong said they have arranged for a tax free weekend on February 24-26 for people to stock up on essential supplies.

"This is a great opportunity to be prepared for that. Whether it's generators, flashlight batteries or flashlights, the necessities," he said.

Newly elected District Three Commissioner Craig Hill didn't have a lot of time to prepare. He faced severe weather just two weeks into his term.

"We did have a tornado hit down in the central area, we had a lot of help. The chairman called that night notifying us what's going on, and EMA was in contact. A couple of the districts sent employees and sent equipment," said Hill.

Huntsville-Madison County EMA Director Jeff Birdwell said they know they need to make changes.

"We're in the process to where we're going to be more comprehensive in our testing. Not only are we going to test the specific sites, but we're going to be testing the software at the EOC to make sure that it is working as well," he explained.

Chairman Strong can't stress preparedness enough.

"It's not if we're going to have another tornado, it's when are we gonna have it," he said.