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Governor Kay Ivey has declared February 18-23, 2018, as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama. Advance planning and increased awareness can help you survive these deadly storms.

Severe weather can develop quickly. When severe weather develops and warnings are issued take immediate actions to protect yourself and others.

For severe weather preparedness plans to be successful, they must include:
  • Knowledge of terminology (such as watches and warnings)
  • Knowledge of safety rules when severe weather strikes
  • Reliable method of receiving emergency information
  • Designation of an appropriate shelter
  • Drills to test the plan
To help create your emergency preparedness kit, the state has declared February 23-25 as the 2018 Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday. For details and a list of items included in the sales tax holiday see this comprehensive list.

Severe Thunderstorms
Flooding and Flash Flooding
Tornado Safety tornado watch or warning 500x400 tornado statistics al 1950 2017
The use of three dimensional (3D) printers is rapidly expanding. This innovative technology can create everything from manufacturing prototypes and biological scaffolds to buildings. The processes using 3D print technology are not without hazards. Toxic volatile chemicals, ultra fine (nano) particles and even biological contaminants may be generated depending on the equipment and applications.

The most common desktop 3D printers use molten polymers, either acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polylactic acid (PLA), as the filament ink. Both of these materials emit numerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), many of them toxic. In addition to VOCs, the printing process generates nano particles which pose a respiratory hazard.

More novel applications involve the printing of biological scaffolds used to generate organs and other structures. The use of biological materials may require Institutional BioSafety committee approval and protocols to disinfect equipment.

Control measures to reduce the hazards associated with 3D printing include:
  • A complete risk assessment
  • Use of manufacturer’s recommended controls
  • Proper ventilation of the area, plus local exhaust ventilation if necessary
  • Use of low emission printer and material if possible
  • Enclosure of the printer
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including respirators if indicated by the risk assessment
Additional information on 3D printer Safety can be found at:

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/research-rounds/resroundsv1n12.html
https://www.graphicproducts.com/articles/3d-printing-hazards
Entertaining and celebrating with family and friends is what the holiday season is all about.

This year, take some time to learn about potential fire hazards related to Christmas trees, cooking, candles, decorations, electrical cords, and heating devices.

Keep your holiday parties safe with these U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) tips:
  • Test your smoke alarms and tell your guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Fill the tree stand with water every day. 
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking at high temperatures like frying, grilling or broiling.
  • Ask people who smoke to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them, so young children do not touch them.
  • Keep doorways and exit paths clear of furniture and decorations.
Find more holiday and fire safety information on the USFA Holiday Safety page.
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