Got helmets? Gear up for severe weather threats

Spring tornado season is here. Are you ready? Prepare for the worst with these suggestions from UAB Emergency Management.
spring storm prep

The tornado belt that spans the Deep South often produces severe storms as evidenced by the 2011 tornado outbreak, the largest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks ever recorded: 363 tornadoes were confirmed in the Southern and Eastern United States according to the NOAA’s National Weather Service. The storms claimed 348 fatalities nationwide, 248 of those in Alabama.

In 2012, scientists at the UAB Injury Control Research Center published a research-driven commentary suggesting that helmets may prevent injury or death in severe weather situations and should be an essential addition to an individual’s tornado-safety preparations. Emergency management professionals now routinely recommend that every member of a family have a helmet and wear it during a tornado emergency.

The Department of Emergency Management at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has prepared checklists of items to stock an emergency kit in preparation for the onset of severe weather.

  • Helmets (such as bike, motorcycle, athletic) for every member of the family
  • Sturdy shoes, to safely walk through glass and debris
  • First aid kit, with extra prescription and nonprescription medications
  • Battery-powered flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio, weather radio
  • Food items containing protein (nuts and energy bars), canned food, manual can opener
  • Bottled water for each person and pet
  • ID such as driver’s license; cash and credit cards
  • Cellphone charger
  • Baby supplies, if a small child is in the household
  • Copy of family emergency and communication plan
  • Emergency Financial First Aid Kit – FEMA

These checklists are meant to be a guide only. Personal needs may vary.