County EMAs and utility companies prepare for possible winter weather in the CSRA

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Columbia County, Ga (WJBF)- Preparations are underway for possible winter weather this weekend. Emergency Management Agencies and utility companies are getting ready for what may come this weekend.

Shawn Granato, Director of the Columbia County EMA, said they are ready if winter weather hits. He explained that the county stays prepared in case of any severe weather.

Right now, Granato said they are in touch with the National Weather Service and monitoring the situation.

“We’re basically in an observation warm status right now. We’re in constant communication with the county managers and everybody,” he said.

The county has the salt and sand ready if the roads ice over and the fleet is making sure vehicles are ready to go. Granato said other than that, all they can really do is keep an eye on conditions.

“It’s really hard to say because there’s not a lot for winter weather that you can do to prepare other than be ready to react. That’s the biggest thing.”

Utility companies are preparing too. Adrienne Tickle, a spokesperson for Georgia Power, said they have a storm team ready in case of bad weather, so they can do their best to make sure if there are power outages, people aren’t without power for long.

“Anytime we have predicted winter weather or severe weather like we could have this weekend, our crews are coming together, looking at what the possibility is . We have an opportunity to stage crews in areas that could be impacted to be sure we can quickly respond to any service interruptions that our customers may experience,” Tickle said.

Granato and Tickle both have advice for people to prepare for bad weather.

Granato advised people not to panic, make sure to have food that doesn’t have to be cooked or can be prepared outside on a grill in case of power outages, and to stay off icy roads if possible. He also suggested that if you have to be out and get stuck on ice, have a bag of cat litter handy to give your vehicle traction.

Tickle advised people to go ahead and plan for bad weather by putting together an emergency kit, with non perishable food items, water and batteries.

In the case of winter weather Georgia Power will post updates through social media, an interactive power outage map, an a new service that will send alerts about outages in your area.

Also, be sure to keep your phones charged in case of a power outage. It will help you to stay tuned to NewsChannel 6 for the most up to date news and weather forecasts as it develops.

You can stay up to date with our VIPIR 6 Radar or download the VIPIR 6 app available in the App Store of Google Play.

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