Our thoughts are with the families and communities in Alabama and Georgia that have been affected by the severe storms and tornados that have ripped through the region this evening and continue to impact the southern states.
Through our regional office in Atlanta, GA we have been in close contact and coordination with state emergency management officials, as they work tirelessly to meet the immediate needs of disaster survivors.
When natural disasters, such as severe storms and tornados, strike, the first responders are local emergency and public works personnel, volunteers, humanitarian organizations, and numerous private interest groups who provide emergency assistance required to protect the public's health and safety and to meet immediate human needs.
This evening, President Obama signed an emergency declaration for Alabama, providing federal support to state and local response efforts.
- The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all federal disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all 67 counties in the State of Alabama.
- Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.
- At the request of the state of Alabama, FEMA is deploying a liaison officer to the state emergency operations center to assist in coordination efforts as the state continues to respond and begins to recover from this devastating storm outbreak.
- Follow the instructions of state and local officials,
- Listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information,
- Make sure you have a safe place to go in case severe weather approaches,
- Familiarize yourself with severe weather watch/warning terms
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.
- Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
- Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.
Related blog posts: Our role in severe storms and tornadoes