© 2019 Governor's Office of Volunteer Services

Disaster Preparedness in Alabama

 

ReadyAlabama is a state-wide emergency preparedness initiative designed to encourage Alabamians to develop and use an emergency kit.

The Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services, through funding from the Alabama Department of Homeland Security, administers the campaign.

The Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services would also like to thank the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) and the National Weather Service for their support and awareness efforts. Ready Alabama also partners with Ready.gov, the national emergency preparedness campaign for information and links.

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The goal of Ready Alabama is to create awareness for Disaster Preparedness across our state. The best way for us to "reach the masses" in our state is through social media. We encourage you to follow Ready Alabama and other credible disaster preparedness social media sites for prep reminders and encouragement.

 

Above all, we encourage you, your family and your business to:

PREPARE A KIT

DEVELOP A PLAN

STAY INFORMED

How to Prepare A Kit

A disaster suppliy kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.


Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.


You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.


Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.


BASIC DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:


• Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
• Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Whistle to signal for help
• Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Manual can opener for food
• Local maps
• Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

How to Develop a Plan

Emergency Preparedness Plan

Natural disasters such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and floods affect thousands of people every year.  It’s important to know what our risks are in Alabama and prepare to protect yourself, your family and community.
Recognizing an impending hazard and knowing what to do to protect yourself and your family will help you take effective steps to prepare beforehand and aid recovery after the event.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for all types of hazards. However each emergency is unique and knowing the actions to take for each threat will impact the specific decisions and preparations you make. By learning about these specific threats, you are preparing yourself to react in an emergency.


Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.

CREATE YOUR FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN

TAILOR A PLAN FOR YOUR NEEDS


As you prepare, tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Most or all individuals have both specific personal needs as well as resources to assist others. You and your household and others you help or rely on for assistance should work together.


As part of tailoring your plans, consider working with others to create networks of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers who will assist each other in an emergency. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.

Factors to Keep In Mind


Households/individuals should consider and customize their plans for individual needs and responsibilities based on the methods of communication, types of shelter and methods of transportation available to them. Other factors to keep in mind include:
• different ages of members
• responsibilities for assisting others
• locations frequented
• dietary needs
• medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
• disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
• languages
• cultural and religious considerations
• pets or service animals

How to Stay Informed

Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime.  

 

In Alabama, we face a variety of weather-related emergencies including severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, lighting, hurricanes, flash flooding, river flooding, heat waves, dangerous cold snaps and occasional ice storms.  Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple hazards. For example, safety is necessary when experiencing all hazards, whether this means sheltering or evacuating depends on the specific emergency. Developing a family communications plan or making an emergency supply kit are the same for accidental emergencies, natural disasters and also terrorism. However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.

Before a disaster, learn how you will know there is an impending hazardous event. Familiarize yourself with the signs of events that come without warning and know the local advance alerts and warnings and how you will receive them. Knowing about the local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation and local emergency contacts will help you develop your household plan and will also aid you during a crisis.

Learning what to do in different situations and developing and customizing your plans for your local hazards, the locations frequented by members of your household and the specific needs of household members including animals will help you reduce the impact of disasters and may save lives and prevent injuries. (courtesy ready.gov)

HOW TO STAY INFORMED

There are many ways to stay informed about potential emergency events in your area. 

For weather related emergencies, the National Weather Service NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts relay vital watch and warning information for your specific county or community.  

 

Your area may have tornado sirens.  Please remember that tornado sirens are only designed to warn people outdoors, not indoors. Do not rely on tornado sirens for your tornado emergency plan for your home or business.

Stay tuned to local television and radio stations that provide severe weather coverage. Monitor reliable internet and social media sites for additional information.