NWS requests ALERT on Thursday from 12-8pm. CST
NWS requests ALERT till 8pm for TOR Watch
With Global Warming bringing us another chance for snow, I hope you have the emergency mugs of hot chocolate on standby. This hopefully being last major shot of cold weather it is good to be reminded that our first severe weather season has now begun.
With that preface I’ll ask the question I usually ask this time of the year.
Are you prepared?
Here’s a quick test. Think of this as a “Simulated Emergency Test On The Cheap”.
Ask a family member to pick a date & time, not telling when you of course, and on that date and time have them go to the breaker box & flip the switch.
For a realistic test it should be during the last 15 minutes of that mini-series you’ve been watching the last five months. Or the end of that John Wayne movie when he has 3 bullets and 300 Comanche Warriors closing in. Or that ball game that’s in the bottom of the 15th inning, with the bases loaded. Or, dare I say, just before the Imodium kicks in? Oh, you know….the usual times the telephone decides to ring.
Anyway, “poof”, you are in the dark.
Do you know where the flashlight is? Does it work? Is it once again full of that green powdery goo that was a set of batteries once upon a time, long long ago?
Where is you HT? Have you charged it this year? This century?
More importantly, if this were the “real deal” could you and your family reach your “place of safety”? Or do you have a “place of safety” planned?
Are you really ready?
Notice that none of these questions pertain to callouts, deployments, or any other “official” EMCOMM activities. For your emergency preparedness must always begin and focus at home.
For you can’t deploy with any emergency group if you are dead or desperately trying to dig your family out of the rubble.
So now is the time to prepare. To prepare, and to stay prepared.
Read and reread those books you have. Take courses and refresher courses. Recheck & rethink your equipment and plans. Take the time to take the time. For it is worth the effort.
Katrinas and Ivans may give you a couple of days warning.
Tornado outbreaks may give you a few hours or minutes or seconds.
Haiti, Chile and New Madrid scenarios give you absolutely none.
Tidbits – a Veritable Smorgasbord Of ALERT News.
First we will revisit the ALERT ID Badges.
So far I have received photos from the following members:
KI4VVM – John Miller
KI4DHS – Mark Lawley
N1LF – Les Rayburn
W4GLE – Grady Evans
If you have sent one and it is not listed above please send it to me again. Also, I will try to bring a camera to the March meeting for photos there.
In other news.
The Birmingham Hamfest will be this Saturday March 6 & 7. ALERT and the NWS will have tables set up. Volunteers to man the table are needed and welcome. If you want to help, please let me know.
Make sure not to forget the Skywarn Forum at 9AM Saturday
March 9 will be the regular March ALERT meeting & Board of Directors meeting. One highlight of this meeting will be the selection of the Nominating Committee for the May elections. If you are interested in volunteering for this two-person committee make sure to attend.
March 13 will see the NWS Open House from 10 AM – 3 PM. The WC-130J Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be there. Also there will be the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency support vehicles, the Calera Swift Water Rescue Team, support vehicles from State AEMA, numerous weather presentations and more.
Lastly, go ahead and be programming the 88.5hz tone for the 88 repeater into your equipment. Waiting until a PHTP (Poop Hits The Propeller) situation to do this isn’t the best timing.
Originally called Martius, March is the third month & first month of the Roman calendar. March is named for Mars, the god of war
March is a wet month. Most floods occur in March and rainfall averages around 6 inches.
Tornadic activity sharply increases in March with there being an increase of 2.2 times the number of tornadoes over the February amount. The focal point for this tornadic activity is the Gulf States.
March is the hail maximum for the Deep South. This is due both to the number of thunderstorms & due to the freezing level still being near the surface. This allows hail to form at lower altitudes and reach the ground intact, as opposed to summer months, when the near surface level temperatures are higher and melts the hail into liquid before impact.
Killing frosts are gone and the last average frost is on March 16.
March is a snow month for Alabama, as Sunday proved & there is a 45% chance of snow up to one inch, and an 8% chance of one inch or more.
The good news is that there is hope on the horizon as Spring will arrive at Vernal Equinox on March 20 at 12:32 PM CDT.
March’s Full Moon is “Worm Moon” in Native American folklore. So called because the rains disturb the earthworms & they are seen wiggling around after the rains, which is somewhat disgusting.
For some reason the old TV show WKRP In Cincinnati comes to mind & the jingle of their number one advertiser – “Red Wigglers, the Cadillac of Worms, we’re the Cadillac of Worms….”
This month’s meeting will be on March 9 at 7PM at the National Weather Service
Forecast office at the Shelby County Airport.
Hope to see you there!
Mark / WD4NYL