Winter Weather Awareness Week 2011

WHAT?  Winter?  Already Time to Think and PLAN!?

winter-weather 2011-2012Last winter will live in the record books for a long time.  Of course, by defnintion, history will last… um… forever.

But with another uncertain winter ahead, what should we keep in mind, especially during Winter Weather Awareness Week 2011.

Let me remind you that during the winter months it is time to start to prepare for the Severe Weather Season that faces us for 2012.  Winter is the time to get things DONE and put to bed.  In North Alabama, Southern Middle TN, and the rest of the nation’s tornado belt, it is almost like preparing for War.  It is a mindset that people who don’t have to worry about tornadoes just don’t comprehend.

But let’s comprehend this.  Now, in the TN Valley, we have 2 major tornado anniversaries near 6 months apart.  April 27, 2011, compared to November 15, 1989.  2 times of the year that represent the chance for loss and devastation  to all of us who live in the Tornado Belt of the Southeast and Mid-South.

So this Winter Weather Awareness Week, make sure you are ready for winter… shovels, ice and snow melting chemicals, and the reminders as to how to drive in snow and ice.

But, if there is another Tennessee Valley or Huntsville Tornado coming our way, you will be glad that you have spent time planning your entire safety plans.

1.) Counseling:

If you need help following the April 27 Huntsville tornado, seek help, and don’t feel embarrassed.  The post traumatic stress that is occurring for thousands of our neighbors is real and palpable.  If you need assistance, schedule help.  It might take months to even start your path to revocery.

2.) WeatherCall:

Make sure that when tornadoes threaten the TN Valley and Huntsville once again, you have a system in place that you don’t have to worry about batteries, turning it on or off, or watching it to get your information.  TV is great, but you have to be watching the right station at the right time during the right time of day to get help.  Weather Radios? Those of you who have them likely don’t have batteries, have them unplugged due to them going off  ‘ALL the time’, or have learned to ignore them due to their county warnings.  Sirens… if it is storming, middle of the night, you might never hear them.  But a PHONE CALL!  You will always awaken to answer a phone call!  Get WeatherCall HERE NOW!  Leave your information in the form on the right of this page and you will receive a year for FREE.

3.) Storm Shelters and/or Safe Rooms:

Even if you have notification, you need a place to go.  During the EF-5 Huntsville tornado on April 27th, lots of our neighbors lost their lives in the ‘proper shelter’, closets, bathrooms, hallways, etc., but for those in Storm Shelters and Safe Rooms, you don’t hear stories of life disaster from these folks.  If you can afford one, get one, at Huntsville Tornado, but call TODAY.  There are lots of peope scheduling to have them put in.  Don’t – do it now.  Get it as your Christmas gift for your family.  Or if you are in a neighborhood of homes, mobile homes, or campers, pitch in with several, and get a 8, 10, 12, or 20 person storm shelter and share the costs.

Folks, Winter Weather Awareness Week is a great time to get ready for the War of 2012.  Please take it seriously, and spend time checking things off your safety list.

Brad Huffines, Meteorologist , National Notification Consultant  -WeatherCall, Contract Instructor – FEMA EMI

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