The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS), in coordination with the National Weather Service (NWS), are calling on Georgians to educate themselves and understand the threats of severe weather during Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which will take place Feb. 1-5.

Spring is traditionally a period where the threat of high winds, hail and lightning from tornadoes and severe thunderstorms greatly increases. Severe Weather Preparedness Week serves as a reminder to review emergency procedures and prepare for weather-related hazards.

  • Monday, Feb. 1Family 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. 2 – Thunderstorm Safety: Learn the difference between a thunderstorm watch and a thunderstorm warning.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 3 – Tornado Safety (Drill at 9 a.m.): Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning.
  • Thursday, Feb. 4 – Lightning Safety: Learn the 30/30 rule. If after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder, go indoors. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
  • Friday, Feb. 5 – Flood Safety: Copy important documents, seal them in a watertight container and add them to your Ready kit.

Severe Weather Preparedness Week isn’t just for individuals and their families. GEMA/HS highly encourages schools, businesses and other organizations to use this as an opportunity to evaluate their preparedness for a severe weather event.

For more resources on how you can prepare your home, school or business for severe weather emergencies and other disasters, visit https://gema.georgia.gov/plan-prepare/ready-georgia and follow @GeorgiaEMAHS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for preparedness tips and emergency information.

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As part of the Office of the Governor, GEMA/HS works with local, state and federal governments, in partnership with the private sector and faith-based community, to protect life and property against man-made and natural emergencies. In addition, GEMA/HS employees are on 24-hour call statewide to assist local authorities when disaster strikes. GEMA/HS’s “Ready Georgia” campaign helps Georgians prepare for disasters. Visit www.gema.ga.gov  for more information.