1 min read
downtown Selma, Alabama

Hayneville mayor handing out weather radios at Weather Wise workshopsAlabamians are no strangers to severe weather. The state’s residents are subjected to severe weather threats throughout the year, but many rural areas have difficulty receiving weather alerts. These difficulties may include lack of reliable internet access and language barriers. A wide range of individuals have difficulty with access, including elderly families, homebound individuals, agricultural workers, and families with limited resources. Many of these groups rely on weather sirens and word of mouth for severe weather warnings.

Through the Helping Every Alabamian Develop Storm Understanding and Preparedness (HEADS-UP) program, Alabama Cooperative Extension System personnel in each county deliver Be Weather Wise workshops. These events help communities prepare for common natural disasters.

Trainings are ongoing. They highlight the differences between watches and warnings, as well as how to identify safe shelter locations, making home emergency kits, and financial recovery after a disaster.

The HEADS-UP program also introduced a statewide communications campaign to educate the public on severe weather preparations, storm classifications, and financial preparedness. The campaign specifically targets populations most impacted by severe weather. Natural disasters often have the greatest impact on people who are least prepared to deal with it or those who lack connectivity and community support systems.