Southbound lanes of I-65 shut down in Morgan County because of damaged bridge

Hurricane Awareness Week To Be Held May 6th-12th

Hurricane Matthew tracks west across the Caribbean (Image: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory)

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st, but you don’t want to wait until hurricane season is underway to prepare. Even areas that are further inland, like the Tennessee Valley, can be impacted by tropical weather. The 2017 season reminded us of this by bringing high winds, soaking rains, and severe storms to North Alabama through the remnants of storms like Harvey and Irma.

That’s why this week, May 6th-12th, the National Weather Service will hold Hurricane Preparedness Week. Each day will be focused on a different area as described below:

Sunday: Determine Your Risk – The first step to preparing for hurricane season is determining your risk. Northern Alabama isn’t at as high of a risk as the Gulf’s coastal regions, but strong tropical cyclones can still bring severe weather in the form of flash flooding, damaging winds, and even tornadoes.

Monday: Develop An Evacuation Plan – Monday’s topic of focus is creating an evacuation plan, if needed. The only Alabama counties in evacuation zones are Mobile and Baldwin.

Tuesday: Assemble Disaster Supplies – Tuesday is the day to put together your safety kits. It’s recommended that you keep at least enough food and water for each person in the family to last 3 days. A more detailed list of items to consider keeping in your safety kit can be found here.

Wednesday: Get An Insurance Check-Up – Take some time Wednesday to review your insurance policy. Often we realize too late that some weather related damages are not covered. In fact, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Remember to review your policies for your home and any vehicles or boats.

Thursday: Strengthen Your Home – Once you know how well your home is covered, make sure it’s up for the coming season. Take note of anything that could be affected by flooding, like items in your garage or basement. In anticipation of high winds you should keep trees well trimmed and secure things like patio furniture before storms.

Friday: Help Your Neighbor – Now that you’ve taken care of yourself and your family, make sure your neighbors are taken care of too! Help your neighbors prepare and make a plan to check on each other in the case of an emergency.

Saturday: Complete A Written Plan – Finally, make sure you write down your plan and any important details you might need in an emergency. Go over your plan with your family to make sure everyone understands what to do. Having a written plan can save you precious time in the event of severe weather, so you can act quickly and confidently.

For more information you can head to the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Preparedness webpage!