6:12PM March 29, 2022

SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WEATHER RISK UNFORTUNATELY TO BE IN NIGHT HOURS… Severe thunderstorms capable of producing strong tornadoes and particularly intense damaging straight line winds will become possible Wednesday evening into the overnight hours. Ahead of the storms, we have a very windy day on tap for Wednesday with 30-40 mph gusts being possible throughout the day. You can see in the attached graphic the latest thinking in terms of timing for when severe storms will be most likely to happen across our local area in south Alabama and northwest Florida. 6PM Wednesday to 6AM Thursday remains the 12 hour window when severe storms are most likely to happen locally, with 9PM to 3AM being the “core window.” I am in the process of preparing for a live video update later this evening. Below you will find our 8 keys to severe weather safety. Please have a way to get warnings tomorrow night and please take severe thunderstorm warnings just as seriously as tornado warnings as straight line winds may be particularly intense. Power outages will be possible as we may have trees and power lines coming down in 70-80 mph wind gusts in certain areas.

Trust me when I say I do not like overnight severe weather events just as much as many of you. This is inconvenient for just about everyone. I understand that. Please have a way to get warnings and heed the warnings if you get one for your location tomorrow night. I’ll be with you every step of the way in the RedZone Weather app and when we have urgent warnings, live on Facebook and across our platforms.

1. WARNINGS… Most importantly, **HAVE A WAY TO RECEIVE WEATHER WARNINGS ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.** If you don’t have a way to get the warnings, the rest of these points are moot. You have to KNOW when something is happening in your area! No matter where you are in Alabama, northwest Florida, or Mississippi, you’re included in a severe weather risk zone on Wednesday night. NOAA Weather Radios are great but they do generally need batteries (AA, AAA, etc.), The SAF-T-Net (free) app is great. Note that if you previously used the “Weather Radio” app, the company that produced that app no longer supports it. Also, my company, RedZone Weather, has an app (free download at redzoneweather.com/app) that you can watch our live streaming video and audio coverage if tornado warnings happen in southwest Alabama or northwest Florida (coverage commitments available here: redzoneweather.com/coverage)

2. WHY HELMETS WORK SO WELL… Emerging research continues to show that wearing a helmet during a tornado that strikes your location greatly increases your chance of survival. Why? Because the majority of fatal injuries that happen due to tornadoes happen because of blunt force trauma to the head/skull region. Thus, if we can mitigate this hazard in any way, we should. That’s where helmets and cooking pots come into the equation. Anything is better than nothing in this case. This means if you can grab a football, baseball, softball, bicycle, motorcycle, ballistics, or welding helmet and put it on, it will highly likely help you survive a tornado impact. Note this helmet deal isn’t just for children. It applies to everyone, no matter if you’re 8, 28, or 88 years old. Everyone needs a severe weather helmet. I cannot recommend them to you enough!

3. PHONES/TABLETS… Charge your cell phones and iPads and other electronic devices tomorrow during the day! Don’t wait. Power may be out in some areas of Alabama, northwest Florida, and Mississippi on Wednesday night if/when intense storms happen. If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing one of the fantastic small battery backups that can power your phone or iPad, I highly recommend getting one the next time you go to the store or visit Amazon. In my experience, I’m a fan of the Anker batteries. You’ll need a charging cable to go with it.

4. WHISTLES/AIRHORNS/IDs… You need something like a whistle, air horn, or something else that can emit a loud noise to let first responders know if you’ve been affected by a tornado and you’re trapped under debris. It’s important to also have your ID on your person during tornado warnings. If you need medical help and you’re unconscious, first responders need to know who you are.

5. CLOSED-TOED SHOES… It would pain me so much to hear that someone had been affected by a tornado, survived it, then walked out of a destroyed home, stepped on a live electrical wire and got electrocuted. Wear closed-toed shoes on Wednesday night! This is an easy thing we can all do with little effort.

6. PEOPLE AND PETS… Don’t forget about the pets when/if you have to take shelter on Wednesday night. Dogs and cats need to be sheltered too! Also, don’t forget to LET PEOPLE KNOW that we have a substantial severe weather risk across portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and northwest Florida on Wednesday night. You’d be amazed at how many people I see regularly that don’t have a clue what’s happening in the news and weather world. That’s fine — until it’s not and they become a tornado casualty. Share this point, share someone else’s weather post, I really don’t care what you share as long as you TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THIS RISK. You can be the hero and save a life. TELL YOUR FOLKS about this risk.

7. HAVE A PLAN… Know NOW where you’ll be on Wednesday night. We recommend getting on the lowest floor of a well-constructed, site-built structure (like a sturdy house or business), away from windows and doors, putting as many walls as you possibly can between you and the outside world. You CANNOT be in a vehicle or a mobile home during tornado warnings! These places become death traps very quickly in tornado situations… Don’t think, “Oh, I’ll try to outrun it.” NO. This could prove to be a fatal mistake. Underground tornado shelters are the best place to be, but many folks don’t have one of those, and that is okay. You don’t have to be underground to survive a tornado. For the sake of taking up resources by our incredible first responders, please don’t be a bonehead and try to “chase storms.” Leave that to the professionals who have years of training.

8. COVERAGE… I provide live streaming video coverage via our RedZone Weather app and on redzoneweather.com during tornado warnings for 12 counties in southwest Alabama and in northwest Florida. Some of you reading this post are NOT in our local area. While I appreciate you reading this, I would suggest finding out NOW who covers tornado warnings in your specific area. redzoneweather.com/coverage outlines our coverage policy extensively. Find a weather source you trust and watch the information on Wednesday night!

Lastly, this is March in the Deep South. This severe weather risk is NOT that unusual. Severe weather risks are a part of our lives in this state and around the Deep South. When/if the weather takes a turn for the worst on Wednesday night, let’s show the world how prepared we are in making these good tornado warning decisions! I believe in Alabama and northwest Florida and I love the people of our region! We will get through this. Do not be scared, be prepared. No reason at all to panic or be afraid as long as you have good, reliable ways to get warnings and take action when/if tornado warnings are needed for your specific location.

TORNADO WARNING POLICY… Any time there is an active tornado warning in effect for southwest Alabama or northwest Florida, we provide uninterrupted, live video coverage on Facebook Live and in the RedZone Weather app. Our detailed coverage commitment is outlined at redzoneweather.com/coverage. We are proud to cover all parts of Escambia (AL), Covington, Monroe, Conecuh, Baldwin, Mobile, Clarke, Washington, Butler, Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. If you live in any locale in those counties, be sure to tune into our coverage whenever there is an active tornado warning!

APP ALERTS… If you haven’t already, be sure to download the free RedZone Weather app to keep up with all the latest information on the world of weather in south Alabama and northwest Florida. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Once you have the app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner) and tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

I will have a live video update starting later this evening concerning this developing severe weather risk. Be sure to join me for that. I’ll also have shorter form updates in the RedZone Weather app later this evening and early in the morning ahead of our severe weather threat on Wednesday night. Have a nice evening!

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