With the anniversary of one of Georgia’s most devastating tornado outbreaks just a few days away and the potential for severe weather this weekend, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security

campaign is encouraging all residents to be informed, make a plan and build a kit for severe storms.

Next Monday will mark the four-year anniversary of the April 27-28, 2011, tornado outbreak that pummeled Georgia with 15 tornadoes, causing the death of 15 people and injuring 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.

The CSRA is also no stranger to severe storms and tornadoes. Just this past weekend, 3 counties had a tornado touch down on Sunday.

With severe thunderstorms forecast throughout the state on Saturday,

Ready Georgia

is recommending everyone get prepared. Attached below are preparedness tips you can share, as well as an infographic on where to shelter in a tornado.

BEFORE A TORNADO

A storm can strike suddenly and it may occur when family members are in different places, so develop a family communications plan.
Make a Ready kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency. Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard.
A tornado watch means weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop.
A tornado warning means either a tornado is occurring or expected to develop shortly in your area, and you need to take shelter immediately.
Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning.
 Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
 If underground shelter is not available, an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible in the best option.
 In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
Contact your local emergency management agency to learn how your community sends warnings. Some communities use sirens, others use a mass notification system, and still others depend on media to alert residents to severe storms. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, television newscasts, or download the Ready Georgia mobile app for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.


WHEN A TORNADO WATCH IS ISSUED

Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for the latest weather forecasts, or download the Ready Georgia 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.
Make sure you know where you would seek shelter if a tornado warning was issued.
If you are in a mobile home, consider moving to a sturdy building (shelter). If a tornado warning is issued, you will not have much time to act.

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED

If you are inside, put on sturdy shoes and go to a safe place and protect yourself from glass and other flying objects.
If you are outside, hurry to a safe place in a nearby sturdy building.
If you live in an apartment that is on an upper floor, get to the lowest level of the building.

AFTER A TORNADO

Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
Remain out of damaged buildings and stay clear of downed power lines. Report downed lines to your local power company.
If you are trained, help injured or trapped people. Check on others who may require special assistance, such as the elderly, children and people with disabilities.

To learn how to prepare for emergencies, create communications plans and more, visit Ready.GA.Gov.

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