Alabama Power ready for hurricane season
Company offers tips to help customers stay safe

Hurricane season begins today. And while the skies may not be threatening at the moment, there’s no better time to make sure you are prepared for when severe weather strikes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts below-normal activity for this hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30. Still, the agency estimates a 70 percent likelihood of between six and 11 named storms, and half of those could become hurricanes.

Many people are unaware that heavy rain and storm surge are the most dangerous elements of hurricanes and tropical storms – not high winds.

According to the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center, storm surge has the potential to cause the largest loss of life in hurricanes.  And since 1963, water – not wind – has accounted for nearly 90 percent of all tropical cyclone deaths in the U.S.

Alabama Power looks at both the historical data and scientific models as it updates its storm plans. “In preparation for each hurricane season, we always employ a continuous improvement approach,” said Don Boyd, Power Delivery Services General Manager. The process includes:

  • Reviewing and updating storm plans and assignments
  • Conducting refresher training
  • Holding hurricane preparedness meetings
  • Conducting an inventory of equipment and supplies
  • Participating in response exercises at the state and national levels

Nationwide, technology continues to improve the ability of forecasters to track a storm and quickly inform the public. New resources include:

  • A prototype storm surge watch/warning graphic from the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, which will highlight areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts at significant risk of life-threatening flooding
  • The new National Water Center at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, which will be a hub of integrated water prediction and forecasting for the federal government, according to NOAA

Technology can provide advanced warning of a storm, and assist in restoration efforts, but individual planning and preparedness is essential to saving lives. Here are some tips about how you can stay safe before, during and after a hurricane:

Before a hurricane strikes:

  • Build an emergency kit, including flashlights, batteries and a first-aid kit
  • Keep cellphones and electronic devices charged
  • Have a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food on hand
  • Make a family communications plan
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes. Determine where your family would meet and how you would get there
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether it’s in a flood plain
  • Cover your home’s windows and reinforce garage doors. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection. Otherwise, board them up with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood
  • Make sure trees and shrubs around the home are well-trimmed
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, etc.
  • Have a battery-operated weather radio to stay informed
  • Turn down the thermostat to keep your home cool as long as possible

During a hurricane:

  • Seek shelter inside a sturdy building. In a tornado, the safest place is on the lowest level, in a room with no windows
  • Turn off any propane tanks
  • Stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors

After the storm:

  • Stay tuned to the radio for updates on rainfall and flooding
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads
  • Avoid damaged trees
  • Stay away from downed or hanging power lines. If you see a downed line, call Alabama Power at 1-800-888-APCO (2726)
  • Check your property for gas leaks or structural damage. Take photos for insurance purposes
  • Keep your pets close at hand
  • Avoid climbing on debris, as it may be unsafe or harbor animals
  • Check food for spoilage and check tap water for contamination

Tip sources:, NOAA

You can learn how Alabama Power works quickly to restore power after storms by visiting Alabama NewsCenter at Click the Weather Center tab at the top of the page.

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company, (NYSE:SO), provides reliable electricity to more than 1.4 million customer at a total retail price that has been below the national average for decades. Learn more at