EMA: Be a ‘force of nature’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Weather officials are asking residents to become a “force of nature” in conjunction with National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 3-9.

To do that locally, the Covington County Emergency Management Agency is hosting a free emergency preparedness expo Saturday.

“Every year, thousands of people are impacted by severe weather threats such as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms,” said county EMA director Susan Harris. “Preliminary data for 2012 shows there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries.

“Every state in the U.S. has experienced tornadoes and severe weather, and although some more than others, everyone is at risk,” she said. “You can take steps to prepare for when severe weather strikes in your area. Knowing the most common weather hazards in your area, your vulnerability and what actions you should take can save your life and others.

“During this week, we’re asking you – area residents – to be a force of nature – know your risk, take action and be an example by sharing what you have done, with your friends, family, coworkers, and others,” she said.

To do that, more than 30 information booths will be on display Saturday, as well as demonstrations given on how to program weather radios, the Alabama State Troopers rollover simulator, the Alabama Marine Police Jet ski simulator and other safety and emergency preparation, she said.

Door prizes will be given, and for the children, bounce house and face painting will be available.

The event will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Kiwanis Building and fairgrounds in Andalusia. There is no admission.