Get ready for tornado season

Tornado season is already upon us, as the weather in central Alabama early in the morning of Jan. 23 showed.

While Shelby County avoided any major damage, weather sirens across the county went off and residents stayed awake through the night, preparing to go to safe places if needed.

Although weather sirens are an excellent warning system, it’s important that residents personally keep up with potential dangerous weather. When those sirens go off, residents should be prepared to react, not just finding out about potential dangers for the first time.

The Shelby County EMA offers some guidelines to get residents ready for tornado season, including:

— Keep a disaster supplies kit, including: food that won’t spoil, a three-day supply of water, one change of clothing and footwear per person, one blanket or sleeping bag per person, a first-aid kit with prescription medicines, emergency tools and batteries, a radio and flashlight, a battery-powered NOAA weather radio, cash or credit card, an extra set of car keys and any special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.

— Develop a plan for you and your family for home, work, school and when outdoors. Make sure your family understands the plan.

— Keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.

— Keep a portable TV/radio and flashlight in your shelter or safe room.

— When choosing a safe room, choose shelter in a basement if at all possible. Otherwise, choose ground-floor, center rooms that are surrounded by other rooms. Choose a small closet or bathroom without windows, because small rooms are less likely to collapse.

For more information, look online at

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.