Preparing for severe weather in east Alabama - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Preparing for severe weather in east Alabama

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

Living in the southeast, you must always have the mindset of "what if" when it comes to severe weather.

"There is really no rhyme or reason to a tornado season anymore. We don't see that trend any longer," explains Rita Smith of the Lee County Emergency Management Agency.

Before going to bed tonight, prepare for the worst and have a plan for if and when the severe weather strikes.

Plug in your weather radio and have batteries on hand to wake you up if a tornado were to form.

Charge cell phones, and have a "go bag" containing personal essentials like medications, water and snacks.

Children are also encouraged to have bike helmets handy to protect themselves from flying debris.

"You do want to be thinking proactively, worst case scenario and be prepared and know where you are going to go with your family, with your children. Do you have a safe place in your home? Where is the safest place in your home," says Smith.

If a tornado watch is issued in Lee County, Auburn University will offer two community storm shelters.

Greene Hall at the Vet school on Wire Road would open as well as the Ralph Brown Draughon Library on Mell Street.

"It's open to anybody who doesn't have a more suitable place to seek shelter. Again, it's only for tornado watches," explains Susan McCallister of AU's Department of

Auburn University will also issue an AU Alert if there is a tornado warning.

People are urged to go to their safe place, a windowless room located on the lowest level possible.

"We have a lot of new students who haven't been through this drill before," says McCallister, "So they should go through this evening and locate their severe weather shelter area in their building to know where to go if a warning is issued."

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