Importance of seeking shelter ahead of severe weather

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — When severe weather threatens the Tennessee Valley, the Weather Authority always stresses the importance of having multiple ways of receiving weather alerts.

It’s also crucial to have a safe and sturdy structure to seek shelter in if a severe storm or tornado threatens your community.

Severe Weather Awareness: Tornado Safety

If a tornado watch is issued for your county, that is the time that you need to put your safety plan in place. Ensure that you have a safety kit together and a safe place to be in the event of a tornado.

If you are someone who needs to travel to a community shelter, allow yourself plenty of lead time so you don’t get caught up in the storm.

“We will actually open our community shelters when a tornado watch is issued,” Colbert County EMA Director Michael Smith said.

“However many times especially if we have a good lead time forecast from a meteorologist, we will likely open those even before that,” added Smith.

Importance of not solely relying on tornado sirens

Don’t wait until the storm is close to your location, you could risk getting caught up in the storm, or in traffic, or the shelter could be at capacity.

Colbert County EMA has a way for their residents to find the community shelter closest to them and get directions on their mobile phone. You can locate the list of shelters on their website.

“They are also listed on our Colbert County safety app, there is also a button on there for our shelter locations that will also give you driving directions as well,” Smith added.

When severe weather threatens the Tennessee Valley, you can rely on the Weather Authority to keep you safe!

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