FEBRUARY 4 – 8, 2013 - Severe Weather Awareness Week | Print |

The week of February 4 – 8 is Severe Weather Awareness Week throughout Georgia. The Atlanta-Fulton Emergency Management Agency wants you to be aware of the dangers of severe weather in our community so you can protect yourself and your family. Learn more below about common types of severe weather and how you can prepare.

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Severe Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms are one of the most frequent types of severe weather in our area.  Dangers from severe thunderstorms can include hail, straight-line winds, lightning, and possible flooding.  How to Prepare: 
• Monitor weather conditions. • Know the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch (conditions could lead to a thunderstorm) and a thunderstorm warning (a severe thunderstorm has been identified in the area).
• Care for trees on your property and remove dead or rotting trees or limbs that could fall in strong winds.
• Seek shelter indoors. •Remember the 30/30 lightning safety rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
• Avoid use of corded telephones or electrical devices, such as televisions, during severe lightning. • Avoid showering or bathing as plumbing fixtures can transmit electricity from lightning.


Floods are the second most common natural disaster. Floods can cause extensive damage to property and put lives at risk.  Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period. They occur with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes. How to Prepare:  • Know flood risks in your area. • Monitor weather conditions if heavy rain has occurred. •NEVER drive through standing water. It only takes two feet of water to float a full-sized automobile. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and seek higher ground. •Stay out of floodwaters if possible. The water may be contaminated or electrically charged. •Most insurance does not cover flood damage. Talk with your insurance agent about your coverage and learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program.


Tornadoes

Tornadoes are violent storms that occur regularly in Georgia. They can occur at almost any time of year.  How to Prepare:  Monitor weather reports. • Know the difference between a tornado watch (weather conditions could allow for a tornado) and a tornado warning (a tornado has been seen in the area). • Have a plan for sheltering during a tornado, if necessary (see information below about Shelter in Place procedures). • If a tornado occurs, 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.


Shelter In Place Procedures

In case of a tornado, you should know the procedures to shelter in place:
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. • Avoid trailers or mobile shelters. Seek a structure with a strong permanent foundation. •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 Informed
Information is essential for preparedness. Make sure you have the latest information:  Sign up for free emergency alerts from Code Red.  Consider purchasing a battery-operated weather radio for your home if you do not have one.

For the latest news from Atlanta-Fulton Emergency Management Agency follow us on Twitter @AFCEMA or become a fan of the Atlanta-Fulton Emergency Management Agency on Facebook.         
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About The Atlanta-Fulton Emergency Management Agency
The Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency (AFCEMA) is the lead organization responsible for enhancing the preparedness and resiliency of our communities by coordinating and integrating the activities necessary to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural or man-made disasters.
Learn more at www.afcema.com.