Sep 08

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. 

Sep 03

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.

Aug 20

Prepare for Extreme Heat with the following tips:

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

Read More

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.

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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. 

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE 2014 HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE

TROPICAL WEATHER UPDATES FROM NWS MOBILE

Dangerous Heat Expected in Alabama the last few days of August 2014

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Prepare for and know safety tips related to dangerous heat in Alabama. The National Weather Service in Birmingham has a web page dedicated to hot weather safety tips. 

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM HOT WEATHER SAFETY TIPS

Jul 21

New Earthquake Risk Maps Recognize Greater Risk for Quakes in Alabama

The U.S. Geological Survey released last week new earthquake hazard maps for the United States. Certain areas of the US experienced an upgrade, downgrade or no change in the earthquake risk. Areas of North and Central Alabama were upgraded for a greater earthquake risk than previously depicted. The maps below from National Geographic (using USGS data) show the highest earthquake hazards and areas with a change in hazard assessments.  

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CLICK HERE FOR AL.COM STORY ON EARTHQUAKE RISK

CLICK HERE FOR NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC STORY ON EARTHQUAKE RISK

Jun 27

National Lightning Safety Awareness Week - Friday

…Lightning Safety Around the Home… 

Although houses and other substantial building offer the best protection from lightning, each year many homes across the United States are struck by lightning.  In fact, on average, lightning causes about 4400 house fires and 1800 other structural fires each year, some of which are deadly. All totaled, lightning causes nearly $1 billion in damages each year.


There are three main ways lightning enters homes and buildings: (1) a direct strike, (2) through wires or pipes that extend outside the structure, and (3) through the ground.  Regardless of the method of entrance, once in a structure, the lightning can travel through the electrical and phone wires, the plumbing, and/or radio and television reception systems.

Indoor safety depends on avoiding contact with items that could conduct lightning within the home.  Here are some indoor safety tips to follow when a thunderstorm is in the area:

1.  Don’t touch electrical equipment or cords.  If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so

     WELL BEFORE the storm arrives.
2.  Stay off corded phones.
3.  Avoid contact with plumbing.  Do not wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes, or do laundry.
4.  Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

In case your home is struck by lightning:


Lightning Question of the Day:
  What are lightning rods and how do they work?

Lightning rods protect a home from a direct lightning strike, but they do not prevent a home from being struck.  They are designed to intercept lightning, to provide a conductive path for the harmful electrical discharge to follow, and to disperse the energy safely into the ground. While lightning rods help protect a structure from a direct lightning strike, a complete lightning protection system is needed to help prevent harmful electrical surges and possible fires caused by lightning entering a structure via wires and pipes. Lightning protection systems should be purchased from and installed by a certified lightning protection specialist.

Jun 26

National Lightning Safety Awareness Week - Thursday

…Lightning Safety at Work… 

For those who work outside during the summer, lightning is a potentially deadly threat.  While summer is a good time to complete outside work, it is very important to work in a safe environment.  Any time a thunderstorm is in the area, no place outside is safe.  Between 2006 and 2013, 38 people were struck and killed by lightning in the United States while at work. About two-thirds of those killed were farmers, ranchers, roofers, lawn care workers, or construction workers.  Many of those killed were seeking shelter at the time of the deadly strike, but just hadn’t started soon enough.

For more statistics and charts, see Lightning Fatality Statistics: By the Charts


Many work activities require extra time to shut down.  In these cases, it is important to monitor weather conditions so that the work activities can end and workers can get to a safe place before the lightning threat arrives.  Similar to all outdoor activities, workers need to stop what they are doing immediately and get to a safe place if they hear thunder. WHEN THUNDER ROARS…GO INDOORS!

Lightning question of the day: What do I do if someone is struck by lightning?

Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge, are safe to touch, and may need immediate medical attention. Cardiac arrest is the immediate cause of death for those who die.  Some deaths can be prevented with proper first aid.  Call 911 and then give first aid.  CPR and use of an AED (Automatic External Defribrillator) may be needed.

For additional information about lightning or lightning safety, visit NOAA’s Lightning Safety Awareness web site at: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov

Jun 25

National Lightning Safety Awareness Week - Wednesday

…Lightning Safety and Sports Activities… 

Whether you’re out kicking a ball around with a friend, or at a major sports event, you should be prepared to get to a safe place in case a thunderstorm threatens.  Since 2006, sports activities (golf, soccer, running, baseball, football) contributed to 29 lightning deaths in the United States.  In many cases, those involved in the activities failed to realize the developing danger. 

For anyone outside, whether you’re involved in sports or some other activity, keep an eye on the sky and head to safety at the first sign of a developing or approaching storm.  If you hear thunder, you’re already in danger and should head inside a substantial building or hard-topped vehicle immediately.

Officials in charge of organized sports should have a lightning safety plan, and those involved in the sport (and their parents) should understand the plan and know what to do.  The plan should include where the participants and spectators go for safety, when the event should be stopped, when the event should be resumed, and who is in charge of making weather-related safety decisions. It’s also important to designate a person to monitor conditions and to keep those in charge informed of weather-related threats. The plan should also account for the time required to get everyone to safety.

For stadiums and larger venues, the National Weather Service has toolkits which provide templates to help design a safety plan.  Those toolkits can be found at:  http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/more.htm

Whether you’re out for a run, watching your child’s game, or attending a major sports event, remember that there’s no safe place outside in a thunderstorm.  WHEN THUNDER ROARS…GO INDOORS!

Question of the day…Are there more golfers killed by lightning than by any other activity?

While golfing is very dangerous when a thunderstorm is in the area, during the past eight years, soccer has contributed to more sports-related lightning fatalities than golf.  During that time, golf led to 8 fatalities.  This compares with 12 for soccer, 5 for running, 3 for baseball, and 1 for football.

For additional information about lightning or lightning safety, visit NOAA’s Lightning Safety Awareness web site at:  http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov

Jun 24

National Lightning Safety Awareness Week - Tuesday

…Lightning’s Most Deadly Activities… 

If you’re outside when a thunderstorm is in the area, you’re at risk of being struck and potentially killed or seriously injured by lightning.  However, there are some activities that lead to more lightning deaths and injuries than others.

In the past eight years, leisure activities led to almost two thirds of the lightning fatalities in the United States. Water-related activities, and particularly fishing, contributed most to the fatalities. Since 2006, 30 people who had been fishing died as a result of lightning.  Boating and beach activities also contributed significantly to the death toll.  In most cases, victims simply waited far too long before starting to seek shelter.

 For more statistics and charts, see Lightning Fatality Statistics: By the Charts


When it comes to water-related activities, there are several important things to remember.

Question of the day – If water activities are so dangerous, why don’t all the fish in a pond or lake get killed when lightning strikes the water?

When lightning strikes water, most of the discharge occurs along the surface of the water.  Since most fish swim well below the water surface, they are safe.  However, people normally swim along the surface of the water and can easily killed by a lightning discharge.