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Hurricane Preparation in Mobile, Alabama

Mobile Alabama is a beautiful southern city that has gathered its reputation and its wealth from its location at the inner most reaches of the Mobile Bay. When weather is clear and bright, looking out onto the harbor at Mobile can truly be a pleasant sight. But this location, ideal for trade and boating, becomes a handicap when the hurricane season between June and November is in play. Then citizens, who have likely already seen what a hurricane on the Bay can do, are glad that they listened to the very thorough set of instructions provide to them for preparing for a hurricane in their area.

Looking Back.

When it comes to hurricanes, Mobile Alabama is a city with an established history. Local Hurricane aficionados will share passed down tales of major hurricanes in the Bay throughout the 20th Century. Among the most memorable was Frederick in 1979 which caused serious damage to Mobile when it moved up the Bay with sustained winds of 145 miles per hour. The results in some areas of the city were catastrophic. Hurricane Danny in 1997 was less of a wind threat but soaked Mobile with torrential rains, almost 25 inches landing in one seven hour period. Most recently Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans also left damage behind in Mobile as a 12 foot storm surge came ashore along the bay.

During the last century residents of Mobile have learned how deadly serious hurricanes can be. In addition to the storms mentioned above there were also many serious storms that were not direct hits on Mobile but which still did considerable damage. Hurricane preparation in Mobile Alabama is taken very seriously by residents and business concerns alike.

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Planning Ahead.

In Mobile County Alabama full responsibility for making plans for the future safety of Mobile in the face of hurricane threats is the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency

The Agency has provided a very well ordered and concise on line outline that include the key precautions and actions families need to consider before, during and after a hurricane hits. In advance of a hurricane the Agency suggests some common sense steps like keeping your car well fueled , securing items that might cause damage in high winds, mooring small craft, purchasing plenty of batteries to run a good supply of flashlights and a radio, and perhaps most important of all keeping that radio tuned in so that you can be kept aware of changes in direction and intensity of the storm and evacuation orders.

The Mobile County Emergency Management Agency also notes that in advance of any storm it is crucial to prepare for what may be a necessity – an evacuation kit that will see you through an extended stay in an evacuation shelter. Most shelters will be equipped to handle food and water needs, though it never hurts to pack extra in your car. Also in your evacuation kit should be medications, if needed, for about 2 weeks, clean clothing, extra blankets or sleeping bags, folding chairs, games and toys to occupy children and important business papers and identification. Families should make certain to plan their evacuation route in advance, know where you are going and how you will proceed.

Planning Further Ahead.

It may be that a hurricane hits with enough force to knock out power and either cause evacuation or make it necessary for people to ride out a storm in their own homes. In either instance the mobile County Emergency Management Agency has some words of direction for what to do when the storm is actually in process.

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The best advice is to stay tuned to what is happening in your area by keeping a battery operated radio going. But recognize that while the hurricane is in progress no one should be outside. This is not the time to decide to evacuate as you may be seriously injured from flying debris or confront flood waters that will impede your progress. During the storm you should also remember that every hurricane comes with an “eye” . When the eye of the storm passes over there will be a brief lull in the storm. Residents need to be careful not to think this is the end of the storm. Venturing out at this point is not a good idea as you will not know how long the lull will last

A few thoughts are also shared by the agency for what to do when the storm is over. The temptation is to go out immediately to survey, not only your own house and yard but to check out surrounding areas. This is exactly the wrong thing to do. Emergency vehicles need to have easy access to roads which means it is helpful for residents to stay at home until advised otherwise. Mobile citizens should also be careful to avoid touching any hanging or downed wires as it is difficult to know if wires are still live.

It is wise to avoid using power or tap water until given an all clear directive from the Agency or other Mobile City Officials