Dallas County can find ways to help Oklahoma residents

Published 9:38 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013

While the nation watched in horror Monday as several tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma, leaving miles upon miles of devastation, we are again reminded of the severity — and power — of inclement weather.

Being residents of “tornado ally,” we should always take severe weather warnings with utmost seriousness. According to the Birmingham National Weather Service, severe weather conditions can occur within the matter of minutes in Alabama — creating storms dangerous enough to produce tornadoes.

With several shelters in Selma and Dallas County, there is no excuse for any resident not to have a planned safe place to take refuge at in the event of inclement weather.

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We encourage all residents, if they haven’t already, to take the time to create an emergency plan with their family. “Safe spots” in all homes are usually located in low-lying areas with no windows. It is important that families locate these areas and make their children aware of what steps to take in the event of a tornado.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by Monday’s tragedies.

As a state that has also been affected and devastated by Mother Nature, we sympathize with their losses and pray for a quick recovery.

There are also many ways Dallas County residents can help even though Oklahoma is a day’s drive away from us. In Tuscaloosa following the tornado, many showed up with chainsaws and tents from all over the world to help find survivors in the rubble. This was a great help, but the best way community members are asked to give is to donate immediately to the Red Cross and send cash donations. Cash is a faster way for the volunteers to provide food and shelter for those affected by the storm.

To help out via the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org and give today.