2nd Emergency Expo planned for Saturday

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, March 5, 2014

While most of south Alabama is still thawing out from last month’s winter storm, the Covington County Emergency Management Association is preparing to host a severe weather expo Saturday to address other types of inclement weather.

Covington EMA Deputy Director Alan Syler said the event will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Covington Kiwanis building in Andalusia, and will provide a plethora of information about severe weather.

“Anything is possible where we live now,” Syler said. “We haven’t had to deal with an earthquake yet, but that’s something we could see one day.”

Syler said the event is only in its second year, but added EMA officials would love to see it become an annual occurrence.

“There’s just a need for people to be aware of what is available in our county,” he said. “We’re right in the middle of tornado season in Alabama and we want people to know how to be safe.”

The expo will be a “one-stop shop” for preparedness for all types of hazards, according to EMA director Susan Harris.

“Every year there are events in our state that catch citizens off guard,” she said. “These could be either natural or man-made events that could be much better handled if those citizens were properly prepared. Our goal is for our citizens and visitors to be prepared for, prevent, respond and recover from these disasters.”

Harris said law enforcement and emergency personnel will be on hand at Saturday’s expo providing safety tips for adults, and some up-close-and-personal time with emergency vehicles and rescue equipment for kids.

The Andalusia Fire Department will be one of the many organizations taking part in the expo, and AFD officials will bring with them their mobile, fire-safety house for kids to explore, while learning how to properly escape a fire.

Harris said the Alabama Marine Police will also be present with t-shirts kids may design themselves.

For adults, free help with programming weather radios, vehicle extrication demonstrations and information on storm shelters will be among the many activities available Saturday.

“This is just a small sample of the many events that will be going on at the expo,” she said. “Those in attendance will be eligible for many door prizes throughout the day.”

Saturday’s expo is free to the public.

For more information about participating in or attending the expo, contact the Covington County EMA at 334.428.2670 or by email ema@covcounty.com.