ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala -- The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and ends November 30. Some of the nuisances that the hurricane season typically brings to this area are tornadoes, excessive rain, flooding, lightning, thunderstorms, fallen trees, downed power lines and power outages. There are other hazardous such as impassable roads and hazardous driving conditions as well.
On top of all that, preparing for severe weather this year will be more challenging than in the past years because we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Preparing your household and planning will be different this year be-cause of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Here are some tips on how you make a safety plan for severe weather season during a pandemic:
Make a plan
If you need to go to a public disaster shelter, follow Center for Disease Control recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic; practice social distancing from others who are not your immediate family (staying at least 6 feet away), wear a mask as well as wash your hands frequently when possible or use hand sanitizer.
To search for open shelters text SHELTER and your zip code to 43362. Ex: SHELTER 01234 (standard rates apply). Pay attention to local guidance about up-dated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets. Find out if your disaster shelter will accept pets. Typically, when shelters accommodate pets, the pets are housed in a separate area from people. Some shelters do not allow pets other than service animals.
When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.
Get a Kit
If you are stranded, it may be days be-fore rescue crews can get to you. You need to have enough provisions for at least three days. If you need to evacuate, prepare a “Go Kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, bar or liquid soap, disinfectant wipes and two masks for each person. Visit www.readyarmy.com for a list of other items to put in your “Go Kit”. When shopping for those items give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect yourself and others’ health when running essential errands.
Don’t forget medicines for yourself and family members who need them. Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup, if available.
Tune in to local radio and television stations. Below are local radio and television stations for this area:
Radio Stations: WCKA – AM 810, 94.3 and 97.1 FM; WDNG – AM 1450 and 95.1 FM; WGRW – 90.7 FM; WTDR – 92.7; WFHK – AM 1430 and 94.1 FM; and WVOK – 97.9 FM.
TV Stations: WBMA – ABC 33-40, WBRC – Fox 6, WVTM – NBC 13 and WIAT – CBS 42.
Wireless Emergency Alerts are used by National Weather Service, Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the President of the United States. Check with your cell phone service provider for specifics. There is no need to subscribe and there is no charge
To receive weather alerts on your cell phones, sign up at http://www.calhounema. org/ or text CALHOUNEMA to 888777.
Post important phone numbers on refrigerators of the local police, fire, EMS and hospitals for everyone to find. Just in case your cell phone has no power.
Sign up for Desktop Alert (register on your workstation computer) & Army Disaster Personnel Accounting & Assessment System (ADPAAS) on website: