AL State of Emergency and School Closings

Discussion in 'Weather In The News' started by Randy Jennings, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Randy Jennings

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    Ahead of today's predicted weather, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency and numerous schools have closed.

    http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/04/gov_bentley_declares_state_of.html
    http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/04/school_closings_delays_announc.html

    Part of me wants to pat them on the back for making the public weather aware, the other part of me thinks this is premature. Many of those schools might be safer places to be than many individual homes during a storm and I suspect there will be lots of kids home alone today while parents go to work.
     
  2. rdale

    rdale Member

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    Not only will many of those schools be safer than their homes, but many schools function as the only meal sources for breakfast and lunch for many children.

    This is obviously a short-sighted action by the school admin. But at the end of the day, it prevents them from getting sued if a tornado hits the school and kills a child...
     
  3. Brad Dormer

    Brad Dormer Member

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    I think it's a good idea because the kids will be home, but at the same time I think it's a bad idea because of mobile homes, parents being at work (although I know many businesses have closed as well), the children could be alone and have no idea if a tornado is coming or what to do if there is one coming which could end in a bad way. It's a good idea that the AL governor issued a State of Emergency as a precaution because weather is basically unpredictable and anything could happen, good or bad.
     
  4. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Arbitrarily calls almost every setup a bust
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    I wonder how much of this is remnant reaction from the events of 27 April 2011 (i.e., would they still be doing this if that event hadn't happened?).
     
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  5. Greg Flint

    Greg Flint Member

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    This reminds me of when Gov in Northeast (Boston Mass) declare a state of emergency before a blizzard/noreaster. You never know if the forecast is going to meet end expectations, but in this case with SPC going high risk just minutes ago, people hopefully will be have a plan prior to a warning being issued.
     
  6. rdale

    rdale Member

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    That's not quite the same - blizzards don't kill people in mobile homes.
     
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  7. Greg Flint

    Greg Flint Member

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    You are right rdale, blizzards kill people on the roads rather than mobile hoomes. The general Idea is the same: To remind people to "be aware", have an emergency plan and perhaps curtail unnecessary travel. If you were watching the live stream, you noticed people appeared to be driving directly into the path of that tornado.
     
  8. rdale

    rdale Member

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    I think we're on two different discussions :) The issue of closing schools in a tornado watch is bad for multiple reasons - because the kids rely on those meals, and because much of the housing in the south cannot take a tornado hit like a school. The issue of closing schools in blizzards is good because people get stranded on roads. Deaths due to blizzards are VERY very low.
     
  9. Greg Campbell

    Greg Campbell Member

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    Plenty of Pros and Cons to be found, but I agree with the notion that most kids would be safer at school.
    And there's a huge potential for a "Cry Wolf" scenario if the setup produces only a few weak tornadoes....
     
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  10. Jamie G Cox

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    I agree with Jeff that this has a lot to do with the last major outbreak in Alabama. I understand that schools are generally safer than a lot of homes, but I think it makes sense. It warns the public and makes them actually pay close attention to the weather situation. It allows them to have a plan hatched out by morning instead of 10 minutes before a tornado hits. There is no worry about the transportation to and from school, a very vulnerable time and a tough decision that can be very costly on when to take them home and how. I've actually always wondered why it never or rarely happens (to my knowledge) on high risk days where strong tornadoes seem imminent.
     
  11. Brady Kendrick

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    At this point unless something drastically changes in the next few hours, outside of some large hail and wind reports, it was a big non-event tornado wise for Alabama and I guess if you want to call it such, a bust. As of 6:20 pm central not a single tornado LSR in the state. Obviously for the local citizens of the state, that is fantastic and a good thing........but after the massive lead up and drastic action taken by the state, school districts, and Universities in the state to basically shut things down for the day, you hope that all the "state of emergency" stuff and closures for a big non-event tornado wise doesn't lead to guard being let down for the next time. Obviously there was potential there for some tornadoes today, but the way the state and others were playing it up, you would have thought we had the 2nd coming of April 2011 on our hands. I'm just glad I don't have to make such decisions for a job...... it would be a really tough deal I am sure to have to make those calls. And as a note still some supercellular storms as of this post in the state so I guess the night isn't over yet.........all it takes is one.
     
  12. Taylor Wright

    Taylor Wright Member

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    Takes more than one to justify closing schools and declaring a state of emergency. The forecast had changed in the morning and shifted east. If anything, Georgia should have declared a state of emergency.

    Unfortunately the poor decision will fall back on forecasters more than the governor. And we wonder why people don't trust the weather man.
     
  13. Brady Kendrick

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    Yeah I should clarify that obviously yes, it would take more than 1 to justify all the hype/state of emergency from state officials leading up to this event......guess what I meant was that it only takes that one tornado for someone/some family/ a town somewhere for it to be validated in their eyes but as a whole and for basically the whole state, yes the response/reaction to the forecast by state and local officials was pretty extreme. As someone mentioned earlier, I think a lot of this is still in response to the events of 2011 and instances of the whole "fatalities at schools" thing (Moore, etc). Didn't realize it, but all three of the major universities (UAB, Auburn and U of Bama) in the state shut down operations/classes today as well.
     
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  14. Warren Faidley

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    I thought the set-up yesterday was too early, marginal and messy. I'll let the weather brains figure out why, but it never seemed right. I do believe closing schools is good idea, under the right conditions.
     

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