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Rainy Night in Georgia...so be prepared.

April 29, 2014
A tornado funnel touching ground

In the past, we’ve written many blog posts about staying safe during natural disasters. However, some things are worth repeating—especially during times like this week when the reality of severe weather is more than just speculation.

Make sure you remember the terminology used during storms:

  • State of Emergency: When the Governor declares a state of emergency, state resources are then made available to local governments for response and recovery. In addition, if the Governor thinks that we’ll need more than just local and state resources, he can request federal assistance.
  • Tornado Watch: This means there’s a possibility of a tornado in your area, so be on the lookout—be prepared to evacuate to your safe area.
  • Tornado Warning: When the authorities say this, a tornado has been spotted, so go immediately to your safe area.

Safe Area

How do I know where my safe area is? You actually have a variety of options for where to hide out while the word tornado crosses every meteorologist’s lips. The main thing is to decide your safe area now. Do NOT wait for a warning to be called to determine where you will go.

  • Storm cellars and basements (any type of underground shelter) are ideal safe areas.
  • The next best solution is an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • If you live in an apartment complex, make sure you’re friends with your neighbors on the first floor.
  • You can also go to a parking garage if it is on the first floor or underground.

In addition to the essentials (water, nonperishable food, radio, flashlight and batteries), make sure you keep blankets or a mattress in your safe area. This will come in handy in case there is falling debris.

NOT Safe Areas

Stay away from windows and outside doors. Try to get to the most interior area as possible, such as closets, bathrooms or interior halls.

Cars and mobile homes are NOT good protection. When there’s a chance of a tornado, go to a building, something with stronger foundation.

If no shelter is available, lie flat in a ditch. Do NOT go under an overpass or a bridge.

Resources

During times of extreme storms, make sure you’re following closely to the news - whether it’s on TV, the radio or the Internet. It is also extremely helpful to constantly monitor the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) website. They provide safety tips, news and updates. You can download their Ready Georgia app to receive information about your specific area.

Georgia is no stranger to the rain and storms, so make sure you're prepared.

About the Author

Bethany McDaniel is the Interactive Web Content Manager for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, GA with degrees in Visual Communication and History.