Gov. Deal proclaims Feb. 2-6 as Severe Weather Preparedness Week - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Gov. Deal proclaims Feb. 2-6 as Severe Weather Preparedness Week

ATLANTA (WTOC) -

Devastating tornadoes, destructive thunderstorms and other severe weather events can strike at any time. In order to prepare all Georgians for the possibility of a disaster, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security's Ready Georgia campaign once again joins forces with Gov. Nathan Deal to raise awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness.

Severe Weather Preparedness Week, Feb. 2-6, is a dedicated time when all Georgians are encouraged to prepare for unexpected events, practice emergency response procedures for all types of weather and learn more about local threats.

“Weather in Georgia can be very unpredictable, and our residents have to be ready for everything from tornadoes to ice storms,” said Jim Butterworth, director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/Homeland Security). “During Severe Weather Preparedness Week I encourage everyone to take one simple preparedness step each day. Those small steps add up, and even the simplest of preparations can be of tremendous help when severe weather strikes.”

Severe Weather Preparedness Week focuses on a different preparedness topic each day. GEMA/Homeland Security's Ready Georgia campaign urges residents to learn about each severe weather threat and take one simple action to prepare.

Monday, Feb. 2 – Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day – Purchase a life-saving NOAA Weather Radio and choose an out-of-state friend as a “check-in” contact to call if your family gets separated.

Tuesday, Feb. 3 – Thunderstorm Safety – Learn the difference between a thunderstorm watch and a thunderstorm warning.

Wednesday, Feb. 4 – Tornado Safety (and PrepareAthon! drill for tornado safety) – Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning.

Thursday, Feb. 5 – Lightning Safety – Learn the 30/30 rule. Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.

Friday, Feb. 6 – Flood Safety (alternate date for PrepareAthon! drill for tornado safety) – Copy important documents, seal them in a watertight container and add them to your Ready kit.

On Wednesday Feb. 4, schools, businesses, organizations and families are encouraged to conduct a PrepareAthon! drill for tornado safety. To participate, listen to your NOAA Weather Radio at around 9 a.m. for the routine weekly test. This is your cue to begin your drill. There will not be an actual tornado warning issued for the drill and the emergency alert system (EAS) will not be activated. Tornado sirens will be activated at the discretion of the county authorities. If your NOAA Weather Radio does not sound at the time the RMT is issued, simply start the drill on your own. Next, practice taking cover in your predetermined safe location. The drill is over when your school, business, organization or family determines tornado sheltering procedures have been adequately exercised.

To help Georgians prepare for severe weather, Ready Georgia offers resources and information residents can use to create an emergency supply kit, develop a communications plan and stay informed about potential threats. An interactive website provides detailed information on Georgia-specific emergency preparedness and allows users to create a personal profile and receive a customized checklist and family communications plan. Employers can use the Ready Your Business guide to create custom contingency plans, and children can visit the ReadyKids page for age-appropriate information, videos and games. For preparedness and severe weather alerts on the go, families can also download Ready Georgia's free mobile app.

For more information on how to prepare for severe weather, visit www.ready.ga.gov or contact your local EMA.

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