A map of Tuscaloosa County

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Where am I?

Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama is Feb. 5-10. To help you prepare for severe weather, The University of Alabama is offering tips throughout the week.

One of the best things you can do to prepare for severe weather is know how to locate where you live and work on a map. Your severe weather plan will never be complete until you can pinpoint your location.

A map of Alabama showing the counties
Can you locate Tuscaloosa on this map of Alabama?

About 45% of Alabamians have trouble locating their home on a map during a severe weather event, according to research done by Dr. Laura Myers, senior research scientist with the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research in the Culverhouse College of Business.

“The most important information for the public is where severe weather may impact and the timing of those impacts,” Myers said. “The public needs to be familiar with where their home, school or place of employment are on a map. That way, when weather graphics are shown, they can quickly determine if they will be at risk.”

A map of Tuscaloosa County showing a weather warning polygon
The UA Safety app will display your location in relation to a warning polygon for Tuscaloosa County.

Take time now to locate Tuscaloosa on the map of the state of Alabama. If you live outside Tuscaloosa County and travel to UA for work or classes, make sure you know where your home county is on the map.

Tuscaloosa County is in west central Alabama. Since most storms move from west to east, if you hear severe weather is impacting Sumter, Greene and Pickens counties, you should be alert to the possibility of severe weather in Tuscaloosa.

Severe storms, like tornadoes, normally only affect a small area. Since Tuscaloosa County is so large, it’s important to know where the city of Tuscaloosa is located inside the county. The National Weather Service may issue a Tornado Warning for parts of the county that does not include the city or the UA campus.

Use the UA Safety app to know your location during severe weather events. The app displays severe weather alerts for Tuscaloosa County and shows the area that will be impacted by the storms. If you have location services turned on, you will see your location in relation to the affected area.

The UA Safety app is free and available for iOS and Android devices.

For more information on preparing for severe weather, visit the Office of Emergency Management’s website and listen to 92.5 FM UA Info Radio.

Learn More about the Importance of Knowing Your Location