Although Seminole County has some of the most beautiful weather in the country, it’s still susceptible to a wide variety of natural disasters. During Severe Weather Preparedness Week, Feb. 3-7, 2020, Georgians are encouraged to learn about possible severe weather threats and how to prepare for them. Each day has a different focus.
Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day – Monday, Feb. 3
• If a disaster struck, would your family know what to do? What if you were separated? Sit down with your family to decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go and what you will do in an emergency.
• Also on Feb. 3, take a few minutes to program your NOAA Weather Radio. If you don’t have a weather radio, consider purchasing one. They are the most reliable way to learn about storms before they hit.
Thunderstorm Safety – Tuesday, Feb. 4
• Thunderstorms are common in Seminole County, and they shouldn’t be underestimated. They can produce strong winds, lightning, tornadoes, hail and flash flooding.
• Nearly 10 percent of thunderstorms are classified as severe, meaning they have winds of at least 58 miles per hour, hail at least three-quarters of an inch thick or are capable of producing a tornado.
• Remember to tie down loose outdoor items before severe thunderstorms. Postpone outdoor activities and stay inside.
Tornado Safety drill to occur at 9 a.m. – Wednesday, Feb. 5
• Tornadoes are some of nature’s most violent storms, generating wind speeds that can exceed 250 miles per hour.
• A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted, and you should take shelter immediately.
• It’s important for everyone in the family to know the safest place to go during a tornado. Storm cellars and basements provide the best protection. If an underground shelter is not available, go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest flood possible.
Lightning Safety – Thursday, Feb. 6
• Lightning can strike from several miles away. To determine whether it’s safe to be outside, remember the 30/30 Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
• Avoid showering or bathing during thunderstorms, as plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity from lightning.
Flood Safety – Friday, Feb. 7
• Nearly half of all flood-related deaths occur when people drive into floodwaters and their vehicle is swept away. It only takes two feet of water to sweep away a vehicle. Remember: turn around, don’t drown.
• Protect your important documents from flooding by making copies and placing them in a waterproof container, like a plastic bag.
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 @GeorgiaEMA on Twitter for preparedness tips and emergency information.