Message From the Mayor
Opelika Chamber President Pam Powers-Smith, Congressman Mike Rogers, Opelika Chamber Board President Brooke Kastner and Mayor Gary Fuller
In light of the tornadoes that devastated our county in early March, I think it is important to remind citizens that tornado season is not over. In fact, April kicks off what is typically the most active and dangerous three-month period of the year for tornadoes in the United States.
While we continue to mourn as a community, let’s take this time to become proactive and informed about the dangers of tornadoes. Lee County has experienced 43 tornadoes since 1950, according to data gathered by Lee County EMA. Most tornadoes can be survived if you remember these three tips: Be Prepared, Stay Aware and Know Where.
- Be Prepared by having:
- A tornado emergency plan that your family consistently talks about.
- A battery-operated weather radio (with fresh batteries) to listen to the latest emergency weather information.
- An emergency kit (including water, non-perishable food, first aid equipment and medication).
- A folder of important information, such as telephone numbers, insurance information, IDs and birth certificates.
- Stay Aware of Weather Conditions by:
- Knowing the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur. A warning means that a tornado has been seen or picked up by radar.
- Paying close attention to changing weather conditions in your area. Some tornadoes strike rapidly without time for a warning but weather signs, such as a dark or green colored sky, a large low-lying cloud, large hail or a loud roar that sounds like a freight train are good indications that a tornado may be approaching.
- Know Where to Take Shelter:
- Go to the basement, an inside room without windows on the lowest floor (bathroom, closet, center hallway) or a purchased storm shelter.
- Avoid windows at all cost.
- For added protection get under something sturdy (a heavy table or workbench). Cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress. Protect your head with anything available.
- Do NOT stay in a mobile home. In wake of a tornado watch, find a nearby building preferably with a basement. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
As your mayor, I am so proud of how our community continues to lend a helping hand to our neighbors in Beauregard and Smiths Station. I truly believe the people of Opelika are exceptionally generous and Lee County has been a positive example to our nation of community coming together in wake of tragedy.