Weather warning experts say many people don’t know their location

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala (WIAT) — Dr. Laura Myers with the University of Alabama has many years of researching the weather warning communication process.

Dr. Myers is the director of the Center for Advanced Public Safety at UA.

Myers said her studies show that many people are not aware of where they live on the map. She said it sounds simple but you need to know what county you live in, where you are within the county you live, and your surrounding counties and cities.

“Be aware of the counties that surround you and also the direction weather typically comes because severe weather typically comes from the southwest so your southwest counties, if those are under a watch or warning, that means those counties up range are the ones that may be next and so having that awareness is important,” said Dr. Myers. “It amazes me the number of people that are so home-centric or county-centric and it’s because maybe they don’t get out, may not go beyond their county and may not be aware of that situation.”

Dr. Myers said she highly recommends people have not one, but several weather alert devices nearby. She said when something occurs overnight, don’t rely on just your phone.

“We recommend multiple ways of getting that weather information. Don’t rely on any one source because I find it very interesting, every time we have an event I have all these different modalities and they go off at different times with different information and so having all that information reduces your risk, reduces your fear and lets you enact a plan,” said Dr. Myers.

Dr. Myers said since the weather threat is predicted on Saturday, know where you’ll be. If you’ll be home, know your nearest shelter. If you plan on being out, know where the place to take shelter near you. Also, know how long it will take you to get to that shelter or safe spot.

“I don’t think people think where their at in regards to how strong of a shelter they might have and what might be the best shelter at their location. A lot of people are like, oh well I have a brick house, that should be sufficient. Well it’ll be sufficient up to a point but you don’t know what that’s going to be. You don’t know what kind of wind speeds we’ll have and what that’ll do to what you think might be a solid structure,” said Dr. Myers


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