In conjunction with National Preparedness Month, Barrow County Emergency Management, a division of Barrow County Emergency Services, is urging all citizens to be aware of the potential for major weather events in this area.
“Planning ahead and being prepared can help you to minimize the effect on you and your family,” said Barrow County Emergency Services Interim Chief John Skinner.
With hurricane season underway, officials advise that citizens who live inland take time to prepare for severe weather that could be spawned by a major storm. Strong thunderstorms and lightning are the most common occurrences. All thunderstorms are dangerous because they can produce strong winds, lightning, tornadoes, hail and flash floods. Every year emergency personnel respond to numerous calls of lightning strikes and downed trees due to thunderstorms. According to emergency services officials, it is important to know the difference between a watch and a warning. A thunderstorm watch means that there is a possibility of a thunderstorm in the area. A thunderstorm warning means that a thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon.
In preparing for severe weather, business and home owners are advised to remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a thunderstorm. Officials also recommend being prepared for power outages by having emergency supplies available including battery operated flashlights or lanterns (avoid open flames such as candles) and battery operated radios. Any outdoor object that could be blown away or cause damage should be properly secured.
In the event of a thunderstorm watch or warning, postpone any outdoor activities. Also, avoid showering or bathing during a thunderstorm. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can easily conduct electricity. Do not use a corded telephone except in an emergency. If caught outside when a thunderstorm occurs, seek shelter immediately inside a home, building or hardtop automobile. Avoid small isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas and tall isolated trees and boats in open water. During a thunderstorm, stay informed by listening to local television and radio reports for updates. A NOAA Weather Radio is useful for getting current weather alerts. For additional information, contact your local emergency management office at 770-307-2987 or visit the National Weather Service website or Georgia Ready website.