By now, after a roller-coaster winter with temperatures bouncing from one extreme to another, area residents should be used to unexpected changes. But spring is coming, and that means the likelihood of violent weather.
Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn promotes weather awareness year round but reminds people this week to set aside time to renew plans and make sure you are prepared.
“Spring is just around the corner, and with its arrival comes the threat of severe weather,” he said. “The Bulloch County Emergency Management Agency supports the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service in observing Feb. 3–7 as Severe Weather Awareness Week.”
And since Thursday’s forecast indicates heavy rains and possible thunderstorms are likely, the awareness week observation is right in time, he said.
Wynn asks that families be ready for bad weather by stocking up on emergency supplies and planning a response to inclement weather, and to be prepared in case a strong wind storm or tornado occurs.
The focus on this week’s agenda includes family preparedness and having either a NOAA weather radio or cellphone app that issues weather warnings. People should learn about safety during thunderstorms, tornadoes and lightning and the dangers of flooding.
On Wednesday at 9 a.m., Bulloch County will participate in a statewide tornado drill, he said. This includes some area schools. Others will have tornado drills on other days.
“Bulloch County Schools' campuses will participate in Georgia's Severe Weather Awareness Week tornado drills, but not all will be on Wednesday, which is the scheduled statewide day,” said Bulloch County Schools communications specialist and marketing director Hayley Greene. “Our principals will conduct tornado drills this week at times that best meet the schedule needs of their individual schools.”
Georgia Power Company is also observing Severe Weather Awareness Week, and its media relations office offers the following tips:
- Stay aware and check the weather forecast before heading outdoors.
- Take safe shelter inside a sturdy building, away from windows and doors. Avoid contact with conductors of electricity — appliances, metal objects and water.
- After a storm, never touch any downed or low-hanging wire, including telephone or TV wires that touch a power line. Never pull tree limbs off of power lines yourself or enter areas with debris or downed trees, as downed power lines may be buried in wreckage. Customers should call 911 or Georgia Power immediately if they see a fallen or low-hanging power line.
- Build an emergency kit. A well-built kit should contain enough supplies to get you and your family through three days without electricity or running water.
- During an outage, it's important to know how to safely store your food and medicine.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.