By Morgan Bryce
With the Southeast in the crosshairs of the dwindling tornado but increasingly active hurricane seasons, staff at Opelika’s Southern Survival at USA Town Center are working to keep the public informed on how they can prepare for natural disasters.
According to retired Opelika Police Department Capt. Bobby Kilgore, who is a part-time employee at Southern Survival, utilizing today’s technology is a great way to stay informed.
“Every day, I encourage people to check the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service (for information). Forewarning is your best defense,” Kilgore said. “Know what’s coming that day, during the next three, four or five days and make plan for your family so in that case something does happen, they’re all on the same sheet of music.”
Both Kilgore and Southern Survival Owner Don Lankford encourage the public to purchase necessary items in advance of natural disasters or significant storms like the Tuscaloosa tornado in 2011 or “Snowmageddon” that impacted Atlanta and Birmingham in 2014, as well as possible earthquakes or floods.
“One of the most prevalent things we see is people not being ready in the face of these events,” Lankford said. “‘Don’t be scared, be prepared’ is a motto on our store sign, and that’s one of our missions is to keep people ahead. FEMA recommends that people have at least two weeks worth of food and supplies on hand in case of an emergency, but it’s something I think that people should do year-round.”
Though they are known for their wide selection of weapons and ammunition, Southern Survival offers customers a wide variety of items needed to survive. These items range from hand-cranked radios and backpacks stocked with food, flashlight, medical supplies and water to 3.5 gallon-capacity water bricks and MRE brands like Wise Foods whose products have a 25-year shelf life.
More weather preparedness information can be found via www.ready.gov/severe-weather.
For more information about Southern Survival and its survival inventory, call 334-737-6561. The store is housed in Suite 206 of USA Town Center, which is located at 1220 Fox Run Ave.