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OUR VIEW: Make a severe weather plan now

It’s been a while since we’ve had a local severe weather threat.

A few weeks ago there was some concern about ice on the roadways, but thankfully there were very few, if any, roadway challenges locally. But now it’s nearly Spring time in the south, which means it’s tornado season.

Troup County has a possibility of severe weather on Wednesday night into Thursday morning as a storm system moves through the area. Much of Alabama is under an enhanced risk for severe weather, meaning long-track tornadoes are possible. Western Georgia, including Troup County, is under an enhanced risk, which is one step down on the ratings scale, but still means tornadoes and high winds are possible.

Meteorologists often say not to worry as much about whether your area is colored yellow, orange or red on the map (slight, enhanced or moderate risk), but just to know that severe weather could be possible in your area.

At the time of this writing, the timing of the storm system is a bit unknown, but it appears most of the bad weather will come through in the evening hours into Thursday morning.

That makes it important to have a way to get weather information overnight, whether it be by phone alerts or a weather radio — or both. Severe weather is often most deadly when it impacts an area overnight, as people are asleep and not ready when a storm hits.

Make a plan before the weather comes through. Talk to all members of the family, including children about what you’ll do if a tornado warning is called for your area. Have supplies ready, like a flashlight, helmets (often used to protect heads from debris) and make sure your phone is charged.

Avoiding severe weather involves a lot of luck. Thankfully, our area has been spared of major storms in recent memory, and that’s a good thing. However, it only takes one bad storm to change that.

We encourage you to be prepared Wednesday, just in case.