Weather & Information

NWS Birmingham, Alabama




EMA Clay County (256) 396-5886 -


Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.


Thunderstorm and Lighting

  • If you see or hear a thunderstorm coming, take cover in a house, large building or car.
  • Stay away from lakes, streams and rivers. If you are swimming or boating, get to land immediately.
  • Keep away from all metal objects (fences, power lines, bicycles, farm equipment and implements)
  • Avoid using the telephone, except for emergencies. Also, avoid, bath tubs, water faucets and sinks because metal pipes conduct electricity.
  • If you can't get inside or feel your hair stand on end, which means lightning is about to strike, hurry to a low open space. Crouch down and place your hands on your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.
  • In a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.

Click Here for tips on Driving Wet Roads


Tornado Safety

  • A "Tornado Watch" means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Keep up-to-date with the latest weather information by listening or watching local EAS stations or monitoring a weather radio.
  • A "Tornado Warning" means a tornado has been spotted or indicated by radar and you must seek shelter immediately. Remember, tornadoes can occur with-out warning before you see them.
    • If you are at home, go to the lowest floor in the center of the house. Basements offer the best protection. Interior rooms such as bathrooms or closets offer good protection. Try to get under something sturdy such as a large piece of furniture. Avoid windows and large rooms such as the living room. Do not open windows.
    • If you are at school or work, designated shelters are best. Avoid windows and large open rooms such as auditoriums, lunchrooms and gymnasiums.
    • If you are in a car or mobile home, leaver immediately and go to a more substantial structure. If no structure is available, lie flat in a ditch and cover you face with your hands or a blanket. Be alert for possible flash flooding.
    • Act quickly. You may only have a few seconds to save your life and that of your family.


Coping with a Heat Wave

A heat stroke is a life threatening situation. The victim's temperature control system stops working and as a result, the body temperature can increase high enough to cause brain damage or even death. If a heat wave is happening:

  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity
  • Stay indoors or in the shade as much as possible
  • Wear lightweight, loose fitting and light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water even if you do not feel thirsty. In periods of high heat stress your body will demand extra water to stay properly hydrated.
  • Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
  • Eat small meals often. Avoid foods high in protein. Protein increases metabolic body heat.


Home Safety Tips - Fire Prevention

  • Make sure each family member knows what to do in the event of a fire. Plan two escape routes out of each room. Make plans to meet outside the house in the event of a fire evacuation. Practice your fire evacuation plans each month.
  • Place collapsible escape ladders in upper level rooms.
  • Keep a whistle in each bedroom to awaken the household in case of a fire.
  • Sleep with your bedroom door closed and never open doors if they are hot.
  • Purchase and learn how to use an A-B-C fire extinguisher.
  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home.
  • Teach family members to STOP, DROP, and ROLL if their clothing catches on fire.
  • Smother oil and grease fires in the kitchen with baking soda or sale, or put a lid over the flame if it is burning in a pan.


Flood Safety

  • Flash floods are rapidly developing floods that can happen with little or no warning. Flash floods are most often caused by intense heavy rainfall, severe thunderstorms or breaks in a dam, levee or dike.
  • Stay away from flooded areas- even though the moving water may look safe, it may still be rising. Never try to walk, swim or dive into the water, because it may be moving very fast.
  • If you are in a car during a flood, get out immediately and move to higher ground. throw away perishable food that has come into contact with flood waters. Eating it could make you sick
  • "Flash Flood Watch" means flooding may occur. Be alert-the potential for flash flooding exists. Persons in flood-prone areas should make preparations as soon as the flood watch is issued.
  • "Flash Flood Warning" means flooding has been reported or is imminent. Take precautions and leave the are immediately.


Chemical Accident Alert Actions

  • If you are instructed to take shelter, Remain Calm and stay tuned to your EAS Station.
  • Go into your pre-determined shelter room.
  • If you have a child in school, know the zone where the school is located.
  • Children in schools and day-care facilities will follow their plans and be safe.
  • DO NOT attempt to pick up your child from school.
  • If you are in a car, close the windows and vents.
  • If you are not at home go inside a friend's house, a store or other public building.
  • If you are at home, shelter farm animals in barns, shelters, etc.
  • Keep pets inside with you and stay there.
  • Close all outside doors and windows
  • Shut off outside air intakes for fans and air conditioners.
  • In cool fireplaces or furnaces close fireplace dampers.
  • If told to Evacuate, already know your evacuation route.
  • When officials announce it is safe to do so, leave your shelter and open all doors and windows.


Winter Storms

To prepare for a winter storm you should do the following:

  • Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
    • Sand to improve traction.
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
    • Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
    • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS). Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.


During Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
  • If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
  • Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
  • Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.


Dress for the Weather
  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat. A hat will prevent loss of body heat.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.


Stranded in a Vehicle

If a winter storm traps you in the car:

  • Pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.
  • Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Be careful; distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to in deep snow.
  • Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
  • Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews.
  • Eat regularly and drink ample fluids to avoid dehydration, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs - the use of lights, heat, and radio - with supply.
  • Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.
  • If stranded in a remote area, stomp large block letters in an open area spelling out HELP or SOS and line with rocks or tree limbs to attract the attention of rescue personnel who may be surveying the area by airplane.
  • Leave the car and proceed on foot - if necessary - once the blizzard passes.


Click here for Winter Driving Tips.