Advanced preparedness workshops to be held in Lee County

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Tornadoes, wildfires, and flooding are some of the natural disasters that led to the costliest weather year for the United States in 2017.

East Alabamians battling with mother nature was a story line heard more than once last year.

According to WTVM Meteorologist Elisabeth D'amore, the Chattahoochee Valley saw a total of 15 tornadoes in 2017, 8 of those 15 happened in Lee County.

Rita Smith with the Lee County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is the emergency management specialist and EMA spokesperson. Smith says things were not the norm weather-wise in 2017.

"Central Alabama is a little different with weather. 2017 has been a challenging year, its pressed a lot of resources, not locally, but nationally, you have to think about those things and what-ifs. What if that was us," Smith said.

Every quarter of 2018 emergency personnel in Lee County will host an advanced preparedness workshop where they will teach people what to do if power goes out for a long period of time or other situations caused by severe weather.

"Our citizens here in Lee County are savvy, very knowledgeable. They want to ask us questions, they want to be prepared," Smith said.

The first workshop, "Introduction to the Advanced Preparedness Series," is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 22, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  It will be held at the CSM Bennie Adkins Meeting Center, formerly the Lee County Meeting Center, at 205 S. 10th St. in downtown Opelika.

There is no cost for the workshops, but participants must register prior to Jan. 19 to attend the first event.

To register, contact Jeremy Jones at 334-749-8161 or email at

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