New “Safety Check” Feature on Facebook

During and immediately after the April 27th tornado outbreak, many survivors found communicating with loved ones a struggle. Family and friends of some students at the University of Alabama were not able to get in touch with them through traditional means. To help with communications during and after disaster, Facebook has announced a new featured called a “Safety Check” which will allow users to let their loved ones know via social media that they are okay after a natural disaster. Facebooks says that after a natural disaster, if this feature is activated the user will receive a notification asking if they are safe. The users location will be determined by looking at the city the user has on their profile, the last location you posted from and where you are using the Internet.

2014 Fall Severe Weather Awareness Day - Wednesday, October 15

Alabama is no stranger to fall severe weather events. Take time this week to prepare for potential severe weather during October, November and December.  Weather events from this week are a reminder that we can see strong storms and tornadoes this time of year. 

Excluding the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak, 94% of Alabama’s tornado related deaths (2001 - 2013) have occurred in November and December.  


Prep Check Evening Update - Severe Weather Monday, October 13, 2014

Severe weather is likely across north and central Alabama Monday evening into early Tuesday. Threats include damaging straight line winds and isolated tornadoes. 

Here are a few ways to prepare for this evening’s possible severe weather:

  • Confirm your method of receiving watches and warnings. NOAA Weather Radio, local TV and radio, and reliable weather apps provide timely weather watch/warning info.
  • Check/re-stock your emergency kit. Check batteries, battery operated radio, and other items before storms arrive. Here’s info on building your emergency kit. With severe storms, prepare for potential power outages.
  • Review severe weather safety rules. Confirm your tornado safe place for possible tornado/severe weather warnings in your area. Remind your family or business co-workers of severe weather safety procedures, safe places, etc. If you live in a mobile home, make plans to stay in a stronger structure if your area is under a watch.
  • Review your communications plans. Make sure family members can communicate with each other in the event of a loss of power or damage. Keep phones charged, etc. 
  • Check on seniors, students and friends. It’s always helpful to check in with neighbors, elderly and students to make sure they are weather aware.
  • Be prepared for nighttime warnings. Parts of Alabama may experience severe weather during the evening/overnight hours. A battery operated NOAA weather radio with alarm is the best method for receiving nighttime warnings. 

The Great Central U.S. Shake Out

The state is participating in the Great Central U.S. Shake Out, are you? The best way to protect yourself is to be prepared. The October 16th earthquake drill will help you, your family, your co-workers and millions of others know what to do if there is an earthquake. You can sign up to participate here

Alabama is participating in the ShakeOut Central US Earthquake Preparedness Exercise Thursday, October 16, 2014. This video shows important info and tips on Earthquake Preparedness.

Severe Weather Threat for N. Alabama for Monday, Oct. 6

Parts of North Alabama could experience severe weather Monday with the possibility of tornadoes. The most extreme threat will in the afternoon and evening hours. Take the time now to prepare yourself and your family. Is your emergency kit stocked? Do you have helmets and tennis shoes for every member of your family? Here is a link with instructions on how to build your own “Ready Kit.” 

Ready Alabama Day is Friday, September 12, 2014 at the Alabama State Capitol, South Lawn

BRING FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO READY ALABAMA DAY!!  Join Serve Alabama and first responders from across the state as we talk preparedness. Also, bring your weather radio and meteorologists from WSFA, WAKA, and the National Weather Service will program your radio for your county. 

September is National Preparedness Month

Take time this month to build or re-stock an emergency kit for your family and business, review your communications plan, and remember to prepare for special needs.

Prepare for Extreme Heat with the following tips:

The best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.

Time to Monitor the Tropics as the Gulf Coast enters the heart of Hurricane Season.

Prepare your family and business for tropical weather this Hurricane Season. The heart of hurricane season occurs from late August through October.


The National Weather Service Office in Mobile has produced a helpful tropical weather awareness guide. As the heart of the tropical weather season continues into October, now is the time to prepare your home/business emergency kit and remember other tropical safety precautions.