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Advice from a volunteer fireman on how to be ready for severe weather

Updated: Mar. 17, 2021 at 9:35 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - With strong chances of severe weather on Wednesday, emergency officials want everyone to be prepared for potential tornadoes.

Zachary Trulson is the President of Moores Mill Volunteer Fire Department and also works for HEMSI, he said people need to be ready and have a plan.

“Whether that be just making sure you have shoes on so that you don’t get caught in the middle of the storm without your shoes and step on glass and sharp objects,” he said. “It’s also important to make sure you have some sort of food with you.”

Trulson said you need to know ahead of time where your safe place is and plan ahead on how you’re going to get there.

“If you’re a pretty good distance away from a local storm shelter and if you don’t have one at home, especially if you live in a mobile home, make sure you come early,” Trulson said.

WAFF 48 has compiled a list of storm shelter in the Tennessee Valley, Trulson recommends calling ahead to see what rules each shelter might have.

He said you need to make sure you’re prepared to stay in a storm shelter for a few hours or more, possibly.

“Make sure your vehicles are fueled, you have any of your medications you might need, bring some food and something to keep you occupied,” Trulson said.

Something to keep the kids entertained is also a good idea.

“Especially if you come to our shelter, it gets pretty loud in there and anything to keep the children’s mind off the loud noise would make everything a lot easier on each other,” he said.

If your safe place is at home, make sure you identify the safest place in your home.

“If there is any sort of severe weather and there is any damage to the house, that interior room is going to be the safest place in the house,” Trulson said.

With this severe weather threat there is also a possibility of flooding. Trulson said every time there is severe flooding they always get at least one call to go rescue someone who is stuck in water or being swept away by it. He said this is totally preventable.

”Anytime we get calls that that are preventable it already puts a strain on already limited resources,” Trulson said. “With us being volunteers there aren’t a whole lot of us and we really need to dedicate our resources to emergencies that weren’t preventable”

If the water is covering the road, TURN AROUND. Trullson said you have no idea how deep it is and it doesn’t take much water to get a car stuck or sweep a car away.

Trulson also recommends you have multiple ways of getting warnings of bad weather. He said not just to rely on tornado sirens but also have a NOAA weather radio and a weather app.

If you need help setting up your weather radio, WAFF 48 Chief Meteroloigst Brad Travis explains here.

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