The UAB Department of Occupational Health & Safety's mission is to ensure that our customers have a safe workplace by providing them with the service and knowledge necessary to protect themselves, the UAB community, and the environment.

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Flood & Flash Flood Safety

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Image by NOAA
This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama and today's focus is on flooding & flash flooding.

Severe Weather Awareness Week continues today with a closer look at flood and flash flood safety. Alabama residents fall victim to these dangerous phenomena each year. General river flooding occurs when heavy rains and runoff fill river basins with too much water too quickly. Flash floods occur suddenly and usually within hours of excessive localized heavy rainfall. These flash floods can become raging torrents, ripping through neighborhoods, streets or valleys, destroying whatever is in their path.

When conditions look favorable for flash flooding, the National Weather Service will issue a flood watch, highlighting flash flood potential in and around the specified area, which usually covers several counties. This is the time to start thinking about your plan of action if water begins to rise or a flash flood warning is issued.

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Severe Weather Awareness Week: Tornado Awareness Day

Governor Robert Bentley has declared February 16-21st, 2014 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama. During this special week, Alabamians are encouraged to learn and or review the proper safety precautions necessary for protecting their lives during severe weather.

Severe Weather Awareness Week continues today with a closer look at tornadoes and tornado safety. The months of March through May are known as the Spring Severe Weather Season. A Fall Severe Weather Season also exists from November through mid December. Alabama is one of the few locations in the world that has two distinct severe weather seasons.

A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with the ground. if the circulation is not on the ground, then it is defined as a funnel cloud. Tornadoes usually descend from thunderstorms. Wind speeds in tornadoes can range from 65 miles per hour to 318 miles per hour, the highest tornado wind speed ever recorded. Your safety depends on being constantly aware of the possibility of severe weather.

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Severe Weather Awareness Week: Lightning Awareness Day

Governor Robert Bentley has declared February 16-21st, 2014 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama. During this special week, Alabamians are encouraged to learn and or review the proper safety precautions necessary for protecting their lives during severe weather.

Severe Weather Awareness Week continues today with a closer look at lightning safety. The summer months of June through September are the deadliest as far as lightning is concerned. In an average year, 3 people will be struck and killed by lightning in Alabama and at least 6 will be injured.

Here are some Lightning Safety Rules...

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cc icon attribution small 2.0 image by Thomas Bresson