Last night, parts of Alabama had damage from severe weather. The most serious damage came from Fort Payne where a EF2 tornado caused damage to parts of town. This damage might be a taste of what is to come during the upcoming Spring severe weather season.
This weekend from Friday February 21st to Sunday February 23rd is a very important weekend in Alabama. This is the weekend to go to your local retailers to stock on items that can get you prepared for severe weather. If you live in Alabama, you know what we have gone through in weather. We have had the horrible tornado outbreak on April 27th 2011. And we have had major snowstorms, hurricanes, flooding, wind storms, big hail, heat waves, cold waves, and everything you can think of when it comes to extreme weather. Alabama experiences some of the most diverse weather in the world. And YOU are responsible for being prepared if you are without power and water for a week or more. You are also responsible for having supplies ready if you have to evacuate.
After the governor formed the Tornado Recovery Action Council; one of the recommendations was to hold a sales tax holiday for supplies to get ready for severe weather. And right now you can go to a retailer or shop online to get your supplies.
Some cities and counties are also participating in the sales tax holiday. The first thing everyone should have in their homes is a weather radio. You should have several ways to get a weather warning. For me I have a weather radio, alerts through my phone, TV, weather siren nearby, and the internet including social media. Some people still relies solely on an outdoor weather siren for weather warnings which should NEVER be done. You need to have multiple ways to get the warning. Weather radios are not very expensive to get and you can program them using the SAME codes. Click on the link to find your county.
Here is also a great video on how to program your SAME code into your weather radio.
Everyone should also prepare an emergency kit for everyone in your family. We all keep hearing these reports of people waiting for the government to come rescue them. But YOU are responsible for getting the supplies ready to be without help for several days. You should have enough emergency supplies on hand for each person for up to 72 hours after a disaster has struck.
No one can come help you immediately after the disaster has struck. It takes time for rescuers to reach the area that was severely damaged. So what do you need in your disaster kit? You need a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, a battery-powered or hank crank radio, enough water for each person for three days, portable or canned food, fully charged cell phone, cash, extra medication, whistle, bleach, trash bags, fire extinguisher, masks, and a generator. For a list of even more suggestions for your emergency kit click on the link below.
Here is a great video of the stuff that you need in an emergency kit.
Also this weekend, you can take advantage of special coupons and deals! On Saturday February 22nd, you can visit your local ACE Hardware store and save 20% off on almost anything that fits into an Ace paper bag. You can go to Dollar General and save $5 off of a $25 purchase on Saturday February 22nd, click here to print off the coupon. You can also save $3 off of an $15 purchase at Family Dollar on February 22-23. Click here to print off the coupon.
For a list of cities and counties participating in the sales tax holiday click on the link.
Here is a list of the items you can buy sales tax-free during the 2013 Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. ($60 or less per item or generators under $1000)
- AAA-cell batteries
- AA-cell batteries
- C-cell batteries
- D-cell batteries
- 6-volt batteries
- 9-volt batteries
- Cellular phone battery
- Cellular phone charger
- Portable self-powered or battery-powered radio, two-way radio, weatherband radio or NOAA weather radio
- Portable self-powered light source, including battery-powered flashlights, lanterns, or emergency glow sticks
- Plastic sheeting
- Plastic drop cloths
- Other flexible, waterproof sheeting
- Ground anchor system, such as bungee cords or rope, or tie-down kit
- Duct tape
- Plywood, window film or other materials specifically designed to protect window coverings
- Non-electric food storage cooler or water storage container
- Non-electric can opener
- Artificial ice
- Blue ice
- Ice packs
- Reusable ice
- Self-contained first aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Smoke detector
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Gas or Diesel fuel tank or container
Please get ready for the upcoming Spring severe weather season! The last time we had a very active Winter, we had the April 27th, 2011 tornado outbreak. There is no telling if this Spring will be active like the 2011 Spring severe weather season, but you never know! Get prepared! Learn more about the tax-free weekend at: http://revenue.alabama.gov/salestax/WPHolidayQuickRefSheet14.pdf
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