(Media release from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency):

The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, in partnership with the National Weather Service, encourages Georgians to learn and understand the threats of severe weather as well as prepare for various weather events during Severe Weather Preparedness Week on Feb. 6-10. “Given the recent severe storms, tornado outbreaks and straight-line winds that happened across our state a couple of weeks ago, residents should take this time to prepare now more than ever,” said GEMA/HS Director Chris Stallings. “We strive for our citizens to be well informed and educated before any weather event strikes to prevent loss of life and significant damage to property.”

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

GEMA/HS will distribute severe weather preparedness information via social media channels, and provide toolkits to local emergency management directors for sharing this information in their counties all weeklong during the SWPW campaign.

Each day of the campaign will address the following topics:

  • Monday, Feb. 6 – 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. 7 – Thunderstorm Safety: Learn the difference between a thunderstorm watch and a thunderstorm warning.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 8 – Tornado Safety (Drill at 9 a.m.): Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning.
  • Thursday, Feb. 9 – 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. 10 – Flood Safety: Copy important documents, seal them in a watertight container and add them to your Ready kit. On Wednesday, February 8, tornado safety is emphasized. Residents, schools and businesses statewide are encouraged to participate in Ready Georgia’s PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety, a statewide tornado drill at 9 a.m. For more information on drill procedures, visit Local emergency management agencies are also a great resource for information or tips to help families, schools and organizations stay prepared.

For more resources on how you can prepare your home, school or business for severe weather emergencies and other disasters, visit and follow @GeorgiaEMAHS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for preparedness tips and emergency information.

Tim Herrington, the Director of the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency, urges locals to download the Floyd EMA mobile app for information about severe weather preparedness and useful features.

The app is available free of charge from the Apple App Store or Google Play, adds Herrington.