Alabama Tornado Data Breakdown
The Lee County EMA employs a number of emergency notification systems for the public, and every citizen should ensure they have multiple means of receiving emergency notifications. Here are the ways in which our office notifies the public for tornado warnings:
Outdoor Warning Sirens:
Since 2009, the Lee County EMA has utilized a polygon-based warning notification system for siren activation. Currently, there are 78 sirens throughout our county, which includes the eight on the Auburn University campus. When a tornado warning is issued, our system will automatically ingest the warning data, overlay the polygon over our siren map, and any siren (or groups of sirens) located within that warning polygon, will sound (see image below).
When a siren sounds for a warning, it will be a three-minute-long steady tone.
Emergency Notification Resources for Lee County
Outdoor Weather SirensWhile technically a technology of the 1950’s, theses outdoor warning sirens are still a tool in the toolbox for mass notifications for those within about a mile and a half radius who are outdoors. Our sirens operate off of an automated polygon warning system.
Tone Alert RadiosWhile these devices are limited to mainly schools, governmental offices and 911 centers, they offer a way for our office to talk directly to the citizens with information about an emergency situation. These devices, however, are being phased out due to more cost effective and efficient means of mass communications.
Local NewsOur local news, including radio, print and TV, are all great resources for you to utilize during emergency situations. Above are some of the local logos of our media partners.
Step 1: Get a Kit
- Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.
- Store it in your shelter location
Step 2: Make a Plan
Prepare Your Family
- Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
- Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
- It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
- Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning:
- Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
- If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
- In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
- Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
- A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
- If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
- Plan to stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.
- Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from the Lee County Emergency Management Agency. Keep your training current.
Step 3: Be Informed
Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio! Outdoor Warning Sirens are only designed to notify those outdoors in severe weather. Weather Radios with charged batteries are the most dependable form of notification for your family and business and can be purchased at most local electronics stores.
Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard.
- A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
- A tornado warning is when a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.
Listen to Local Officials
Learn about the governmental emergency plans that have been established in your area: