Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA)/Homeland Security, the National Weather Service (NWS) and Gordon County Emergency Management Agency, will observe the week of February 3-7, 2014, as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Georgia. This annual observance is designed to educate Georgians about weather-related topics, including family preparedness, NOAA weather radios, thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning and floods.
Please encourage local residents to focus attention on the following topics during Severe Weather Awareness Week:
- Monday, February 3 – Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio
- Tuesday, February 4 – Thunderstorm Safety
- Wednesday, February 5 – Tornado Safety (Statewide Tornado Drill)
- Thursday, February 6 – Lightning Safety
- Friday, February 7 – Flooding (Alternate Drill Day)
Statewide Tornado Drill – Spread the word about the statewide tornado drill set for Wednesday, February 5. If there is a threat of severe weather on that day, the drill will be held Friday, February 8. On drill day, an actual Tornado Watch will not be issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will not be activated by radio and television stations.
For drill purposes, we encourage you to assume that a Tornado Watch is in effect when the day begins and do what your emergency plan specifies during an actual Tornado Watch. At 9:00 a.m., the NWS will issue a Routine Weekly Test (RWT) on NOAA Weather Radio only. The RWT will serve as the Tornado Warning. To determine when the drill begins, monitor the display screen on your NOAA Weather Radio to see the RWT scroll. Some weather radio models sound a tone alert for RWTs. Other models do not. If your receiver does not sound a tone alert for RWTs, proceed with your notifications and the drill at 9:00 a.m. Everyone should seek shelter immediately. There will be no all-clear message when the drill concludes at 9:30 a.m.
We encourage all schools, day care centers, hospitals and businesses to participate in the drill.
In addition, Gordon County government offers a free weather warning service called Code Red. Immediately after the National Weather Service issues a weather warning, Code Red issues the same warning to persons that are signed up for Code Red and that live in the affected areas. The warnings are issued through calls and texts to telephones, cell phones, and smart phones. If you are not already signed up for Code Red to receive free severe weather and other warnings, sign up today by clicking here.
Gordon County is updating its warning systems with more improved technology such as using Code Red rather than the old warning sirens located throughout the county. Do not depend on the old warning sirens that are being phased out for weather alerts.
Protect you and your family today from severe weather, purchase and use a NOAA weather radio and sign up for Code Red. For more information or questions, contact the Gordon County Emergency Management Agency at 706-602-2905.