Public Information Statement

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM  AL
800 AM CST TUE FEB 21 2006

...LIGHTNING AWARENESS DAY...

SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK CONTINUES TODAY WITH A LOOK AT
LIGHTNING SAFETY.

BUT BEFORE WE TALK ABOUT LIGHTNING SAFETY...A REMINDER CONCERNING
CHANGES THIS YEAR DEALING WITH THE WEEKLY RADIO TEST CONDUCTED BY
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN BIRMINGHAM ON WEDNESDAY...
FEBRUARY 22ND.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN BIRMINGHAM WILL DO THE WEEKLY
RADIO TEST AT THE SPECIAL TIME OF 9:30 AM ON WEDNESDAY...FEBRUARY 22
ND.  THIS TIME WILL REPLACE THE USUAL TIME OF THE WEEKLY RADIO TEST
THAT IS DONE ACROSS CENTRAL ALABAMA BETWEEN 11 AM AND 12 PM ON
WEDNESDAYS.  THE INFORMATION MESSAGE GOING ALONG WITH THIS WEEKLY
RADIO TEST WILL HIGHLIGHT APPROPRIATE PREPAREDNESS AND SAFETY
PRECAUTIONS CONCERNING TORNADOES.  THIS WILL ALSO REPLACE THE
TRADITIONAL FORMAL PRACTICE TORNADO WATCH AND WARNING THAT HAVE BEEN
ISSUED IN PREVIOUS YEARS BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 9 AM AND 10 AM.  IF
INCLEMENT WEATHER DEVELOPS ON WEDNESDAY...FEBRUARY 22ND...THIS
SPECIAL RWT ISSUANCE WILL NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL FRIDAY...FEBRUARY
24TH AT 9:30 AM.

BACK TO LIGHTNING SAFETY...

THE SUMMER MONTHS OF JUNE THROUGH SEPTEMBER ARE THE DEADLIEST AS FAR
AS LIGHTNING IS CONCERNED.

IN AN AVERAGE YEAR...3 PEOPLE WILL BE STRUCK AND KILLED BY LIGHTNING
IN ALABAMA AND 6 WILL BE INJURED.

LIGHTNING SAFETY RULES

1.   MOVE INSIDE A WELL-CONSTRUCTED HOUSE...A LARGE BUILDING OR AN
     ALL-METAL VEHICLE.  STAY AWAY FROM ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AND
     DO NOT USE THE TELEPHONE.

2.   IF YOU ARE IN A BOAT...GET OFF THE WATER AND INTO A
     SUBSTANTIAL BUILDING OR AT LEAST INTO AN ENCLOSED AND ALL-METAL
     VEHICLE WITH THE WINDOWS UP.  IF YOU`RE CAUGHT IN AN OPEN METAL
     BOAT...LIE DOWN IN THE BOAT WITH CUSHIONS BETWEEN YOU AND THE
     METAL SIDES AND BOTTOM.

3.   IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTDOORS...GET DOWN TO AVOID BEING THE
     HIGHEST POINT FOR A LIGHTNING DISCHARGE. IF YOU`RE CAUGHT
     IN A FLAT...OPEN FIELD OR IF YOU FEEL YOUR HAIR STANDING ON
     END...CROUCH DOWN AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.  THAT
     WAY...ONLY YOUR FEET WILL TOUCH THE GROUND.

4.   MOVE AWAY FROM MOTORCYCLES...SCOOTERS...GOLF
     CARTS...BICYCLES...TRACTORS AND OTHER METAL FARM EQUIPMENT.
     AVOID WIRE FENCES...CLOTHESLINES...METAL PIPES AND DRAINS...
     RAILROAD TRACKS AND ANY OTHER METAL SURFACES.

5.   AVOID LONE TREES AND THE TALLEST TREES.  IF CAUGHT IN THE
     WOODS...PICK A SMALL GROVE OF TREES AS YOUR SHELTER AND
     STAND AT LEAST 5 FEET FROM THE TRUNK OF THE NEAREST TREE TO
     AVOID FLYING BARK IF THE TREE IS STRUCK.

6.   AVOID STANDING IN A SMALL ISOLATED SHED OR OTHER SMALL
     UNGROUNDED STRUCTURE IN OTHER AREAS.

7.   IF IN A GROUP OF PEOPLE IN AN OPEN AREA...SPREAD OUT
     BEFORE YOU CROUCH DOWN.

NOAA WEATHER RADIO WILL CARRY INFORMATION AND SAFETY TIPS ALL THIS
WEEK CONTAINING IMPORTANT SAFETY RULES THAT YOU CAN USE TO PROTECT
YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES FROM THE DANGERS OF SEVERE WEATHER.

IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT LIGHTNING
AWARENESS...CONTACT THE BIRMINGHAM NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE
AT (205)664-3010.

TOMORROW...WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 22...WE WILL HIGHLIGHT TORNADO
SAFETY.  FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS CONCERNING SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS
WEEK...PLEASE VISIT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN
BIRMINGHAM`S WEBSITE AT WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/BMX.
$$
JBW

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