By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey stressed the importance of everyone getting prepared for hurricane season, especially as we approach the peak of the season, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Wednesday, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency conducted its first coordinating group call as they continue to monitor the path of Hurricane Irma. The following agencies joined the call and provided updates: Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Alabama Department of Transportation, Alabama National Guard, Alabama Department of Human Resource, Alabama Forestry Commission and Alabama Department of Public Health.
Hurricane Irma, as of press time, appears to be on a collision course with south Florida this weekend. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency and evacuations have begun.
Ivey said, “While the models project a track that does not directly impact Alabama, we must remain vigilant in both our monitoring and preparation.”
Ivey continued. “Residents at home need to do the same, now is the time to review your preparedness plan and update supplies within your emergency preparedness kit. Once our state is cleared of the risk of major impacts we can then evaluate the level of assistance we can provide to our sister states in our region.”
The hurricane action in the gulf means that coastal residents should be advised that there is a much greater chance of riptides.
Ivey and Alabama EMA listed a few items to keep in mind as you are getting prepared for a hurricane or a tropical storm:
- Know where to go. Get the latest information from your local emergency management agency regarding evacuation routes.
- Prepare your disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
- Make a family emergency communication plan just in case you and your love ones are separated during the storm.
- Ensure your phone is receiving the latest text or email alerting notifications.
AEMA Director Brian Hastings said, “Historically, we know storms often can change and adjust course causing major impacts on our state. Alabama EMA, in conjunction with our state partners, will continue to make all prudent preparations to be postured for the potential severe weather impacts of Hurricane Irma.”
Hastings began his career as AEMA director on Tuesday, after a lengthy career in the U.S. Air Force.
Potentially millions of people are now evacuating Florida, Alabama has the potential for a large influx of residents coming into the state.
Alabama’s Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor said, “During the next few days, we should expect heavy traffic along Alabama-Florida routes, as residents in or near Irma’s path leave their homes for safer areas. We ask Alabama motorists to account for this heavier traffic flow in their travel plans, remain patient with other motorists, and choose alternate routes when possible.”
Alabama Department of Transportation Spokesperson Tony Harris said, “The Alabama Department of Transportation has maintenance crews statewide that are prepared as necessary. ALDOT is also prepared to assist in any transportation related relief efforts that may arise in the moving of personnel and resources to the affected areas.”
For the latest preparedness information visit www.ema.alabama.gov
For the latest on Hurricane Irma visit the National Hurricane Center at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.