With Assistance from the Georgia Emergency Management Administration, the National Weather Service is conducting a statewide tornado drill Wedesday morning to help citizens prepare for the event of potentially deadly storms.
The Ready Georgia campaign includes a full range of safety tips and drills to follow in case of tornadoes and tornado-like weather.
The drill begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday, and participants will include commercial television and radio. Citizens may also monitor NOAA Weather Radio or download the Ready Georgia mobile app, which has alerts, safety checklists, and personalized contact and other information.
The drill also will include descriptions of the differences between tornado watches and tornado warnings, as issued by the National Weather Service.
Although East Cobb was spared last spring's tornadoes in Georgia, 2011 was a deadly year for the storms, both here and in other states. Georgia was pummeled by 15 tornadoes in late April that killed 15 people and injured 143 across the state.
The most powerful twister to hit Georgia was an EF-4 storm that roared through Catoosa County, killing eight and injuring at least 30. That storm, with winds in excess of 175 mph, was one-third of a mile wide and was on the ground for 13 miles before finally dissipating in Tennessee.
Here are some other particulars that will be observed during Wednesday's drill, and that citizens should keep in mind as tornado season approaches.
Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings
- Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts, or download the Ready Georgia mobile app.
- Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by NWS. Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
- A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
- A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
When a Tornado WATCH is Issued
- Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for the latest weather forecasts, or download the Ready Georgia mobile app.
- Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.
When a Tornado WARNING is Issued
- If you are inside, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
- If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
- If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety.
After the Tornado Passes
- Watch out for fallen power lines and stay out of the damaged area.
- Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
- Use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage.
- Do not use candles at any time.