COLUMBIANA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Birmingham region will have the likely threat of severe weather and tornadic activity Tuesday.

With this threat occurring at the beginning of the year, many people are still out of their normal routines – and many children across our area may still not be back in school.

Shelby County EMA Director Michael Asdel said flexibility will be key.

“We’re just focused on response more than anything just in case something happens,” Asdel said. “Just trusting your sources and being flexible at the same time because weather will change. As you know we live in Alabama it can be 30 in the morning, 70 in the afternoon then back to 50 late at night.”

While many are unwrapping from the holidays, Hale County EMA Director Russell Weeden has been busy mapping up a plan.

“A lot of people took the day off today so they may not be as weather aware as normal so we’re just trying to get the word out,” Weeden said.

Following last February’s tornado, Weeden said his office has been working to add 12 storm shelters to their lone one – awaiting FEMA approval at this point.

“That will be a game changer having our citizens a place to go when there is a tornado,” Weeden said.

Weeden said many tornadoes fall under the radar due to lack of coverage and is hopeful for a better read with a closer weather office. He said there were three tornadoes in the county in 2022.

“That is a really big deal and hopefully we’re going to make some changes in that in the upcoming future,” Weeden said.

When the clouds roll in Tuesday, officials want your plan to not be delayed.

“What are you going to do if you’re caught in the road or if your family is at home,” Asdel said. “What is your plan? Ask that question.”

Weeden said he has asked county leaders to make sure people are heading home by lunchtime to be close to their safe spots. You can sign up for EMA alerts for Shelby County on their website.