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Are You Storm Prepared?

Ready Georgia issues tips to be proactively prepared for tornadoes.

by Patch Staff

The National Weather Service says tornadoes are the No. 1 severe weather-related killer in Georgia. And though tornadoes can occur any day of the year, the height of the season runs from March through May.

With parts of the Peach State under severe weather watches, the 's Ready Georgia campaign has these tips for residents to prepare, plan and stay informed about tornadoes:

Prepare for a Tornado

  • Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify tornado hazards: a tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area; a tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted in your area, and you need to take shelter immediately.
  • Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning.
  • Prepare a Ready kit of emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, NOAA Weather Radio and a three-day supply of food and water.

Plan to Take Shelter

  • If local authorities issue a tornado warning or if you see a funnel cloud, take shelter immediately.
  • Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
  • If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
  • A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
  • If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.

 Stay Informed about Tornadoes

  • Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
  • After a tornado, be sure to remain out of damaged buildings and stay clear of downed power lines.
  • Help injured or trapped people. Check on others who may require special assistance, such as the elderly, children and people with disabilities.

For more information:

GEMA’s Ready Georgia campaign provides online tools to make a disaster supply kit, develop a tailored communications plan and stay informed about potential threats. Website visitors can also find local emergency contact information and read preparedness testimonials from local sports stars. Children’s games and activities can be found on the ReadyKids page, and households with pets or elderly or disabled family members will find specific information on preparing for severe weather.

For preparedness on the go, families can download Ready Georgia’s free mobile app for iPhone and Android platforms to learn how to prepare for emergencies, create family communications plans and more.

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