UWA Promotes Disaster Preparedness

The University of West Alabama hosted a disaster preparedness workshop, with the involvement of local, regional and state officials.

The idea is to have all communities ready when and if the next big disaster hits.

"In light of the tornadoes we had last year, in Sumter County and Tuscaloosa County, we decided that probably it would help the community, the entire Sumter County community, to have some tips from professionals on what to prepare for," said Janice Greenwood, UWA's service learning coordinator.

Following the devastating tornadoes last year across the region, officials says it is more important now than ever to help residents know what to do in case of a disaster.

"I think for a lot of people it's that mentality that it's not going to happen to me," said Art Faulkner, director of Alabama Emergency Management. "A lot of people in this state that, unfortunately, don't feel that way today because they were so affected by the storms that ravaged the state last year."

"Most of the time, you only have a limited amount of time to react, to get get to a safe place, or get out of harm's way," said Livingston Mayor Tom Tartt. "You need to be aware of the situations around you, and have a plan."

Presentations were made throughout the day by different organizations, companies and individuals offering advice in their field of expertise.

Newscenter 11 meteorologist Brian Hutton, Jr., was one of the guest speakers.

One of the main things officials say you can do to be ready for a disaster is to have your own disaster kit, containing: Prescription medicines, important documents, cash or traveler's checks, bottled water, and non-perishable food items.

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