As we get closer to winter and focus on cold weather, many of us often make the mistake of assuming that the threat of a tornado is all but gone. While it is true that Georgia tornadoes are more likely to occur during warm months in the spring and summer, that doesn’t mean they can’t occur this time of year. As Mother Nature demonstrated over the weekend, tornadoes can strike at any time.
Portions of the Midwest were devastated on Sunday when more than 80 tornadoes ripped through several states. As of Monday morning, six people are dead, hundreds of thousands are without power, and several towns have been severely damaged.
If this tragedy had struck your city, would you have been ready? Few natural occurrences have the ability to cause such widespread damage so quickly the same way as a tornado. The sudden nature of this type of disaster calls for diligent preparedness. Ready Georgia urges you to stay tuned to local weather forecasts throughout the year, and to take the following measures to ensure your family is prepared for tornadoes at any time:
- Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard:
– 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. Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
– If you do not have access to a storm cellar or basement, take shelter in the most interior room of your house or building on the lowest floor possible. Vehicles, trailers and mobile homes do not provide good protection.
- Contact your local emergency management agency to find out what warning system they use and how to register.
- Severe storms may cause your area to lose power, resulting in limited TV and radio access. Purchase a battery-operated radio, like a NOAA Weather Radio, to ensure access to news and weather coverage.
- Create a Ready kit for you and your family.
– A few items to include: non-perishable food, can opener, water, flashlight and extra batteries, first aid kit, extra clothes and medications, blankets, copies of important papers and documents, personal hygiene items, special items for loved ones with functional needs and pets.