Red Cross Urges Spring Weather Preparedness as Tornadoes Devastate Alabama

SPRINGFIELD (March 5) ––Winter weather has been upon us for months, but this weekend served as a reminder that spring severe weather is coming soon. 

As the Midwest was blanketed with snow over the weekend, tornadoes ripped across the state of Alabama, resulting in 23 fatalities – Alabama’s deadliest since 2011. 

The American Red Cross wants to remind everyone that now is the time to start thinking about spring storms. 

Stacy Burks, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri, states “Given the weather that we are currently experiencing, it is hard to wrap our minds around the thought that spring storms and tornado season are right on the horizon. It is never too early to be prepared,” Burks said. 

Severe Weather Preparedness week is actually this week. 

HOW TO STAY SAFE: People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of thunderstorms, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The app also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free emergency app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. 

TOP TIPS: 1. Identify a safe place in your home where household members and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. 2. In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. 3. In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. No mobile home, however it is configured, is safe in a tornado.

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE: 

A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible. 

A tornado WARNING means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon. GO TO YOUR SAFE PLACE IMMEDIATELY. 

For more information on preparedness tips, please visit www.redcross.org and www.weather.gov/lsx/severeweek for more information on Severe Weather Preparedness Week.