Tips for severe weather prep

Cullman County EMA (Sammy Confer for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Alabamians are no strangers to severe weather. Still, it helps to remind oneself of the basics of storm preparation once in a while.

Cullman County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Tim Sartin said it’s important to be ready before bad weather comes your way.

“It’s pretty important to know how to do everything and to know where all of your storm shelters are,” he said. “It’s important to know what to do, when to do it and how to do it.”

Sartin discussed some tips for the community.

“When severe weather comes, you want to have a flashlight available. You want to make sure that your phone is charged. Make sure that you have a portable radio or some way of communication available to get alerts,” he said. “You want to have a helmet just in case you’re stuck in your house. A bicycle helmet would be a good thing to have. Make sure that you have a day’s worth of supplies and medication you can use if your house is blown away.”

He added, “Make sure that you have at least 72 hours’ worth of supplies for yourself and your family. There’s multiple shelters throughout the county. There’s a shelter in every community. In town, there’s tornado shelters. In the city of Cullman, there’s shelters in the north part of town.”

The EMA maintains a list of all community storm shelters. Find it at

“You also want to make sure to stay away from windows and doors. You want to stay towards the center of the building, and you want to get something to shield yourself with. Make sure that you have a little to-go backpack where you have all of your stuff stored in it,” continued Sartin. “Another thing is everyone needs to make sure that they have multiple ways of getting warnings and not rely on the tornado sirens to give them their warnings because those are made for you to hear outside. They are not made for you to hear inside the house, so you want to have multiple ways, like telephone, TVs and radios to get warnings.”

Sartin said residents can find more information about how to prepare themselves and their pets for severe weather and other emergencies at and

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