While Georgia hasn’t had a major hurricane reach landfall in recent years and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a “lower-than-average” season, the state’s coasts remain at risk for storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
The first order of the day in any emergency is to stay informed, and for hurricanes and other bad weather situations that means tuning in to local media reports, purchasing a weather radio or signing up for the area CodeRED program, which provides emergency warnings through voice calls, text or email messages.
In the event of an imminent and threatening bad weather situation, go immediately to the “safe room” wherever you happen to be. That room ideally is a central windowless room downstairs. Maximum protection can be gained by lying flat in a bathtub and covering up with blankets or a mattress.
Have a plan. Know what you’re going to do before it happens. Make a list, including a rendezvous point and phone numbers of friends and relatives. Another important thing is that you’ve previously assembled a ‘ready box’ with survival items, including a first-aid kid, flashlight, batteries, water, essential medication and other items you’ll need to stay self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
Be sure you have the proper insurance. It’s a good idea to go ahead and make pictures or videos of everything in the house. That’s documentation for your insurance company.
For more detailed information on staying safe during a hurricane or other natural emergency, contact Ready Georgia at www.ready.ga.gov, where you can download a free mobile app. According to Ready Georgia officials, the app turns an iPhone or Android smartphone into an invaluable preparedness tool by alerting users to severe weather in their areas, as well as providing a list of ready kit supplies and local shelter locations.