require a family plan
In Georgia, the biggest threat from severe thunderstorms is damaging straight-line winds and large hail that most often occur in the spring and summer, peaking in July. To protect your family, have a plan of action in place before threatening weather arrives:
A severe thunderstorm watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to develop, but there is not an imminent threat. A severe thunderstorm warning means a severe thunderstorm has been detected with imminent threat to life and property. Here are some guidelines to follow in case you are caught in severe weather:
- If severe weather is imminent, and you are inside, move to shelter, such as a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of the building.
- If severe weather is imminent, and you are outside and no shelter is nearby, find a low spot that won’t flood, away from trees, fences, and poles; if in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees; if your skin tingles or hair stands on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible, and minimize your contact with the ground.
- If severe weather is imminent, and you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately.
Know your area, monitor reports
Regardless of the storm situation, your chances of a safe outcome are increased if you know your area so you can track storms. You can monitor area weather forecasts to know if threatening weather is approaching by listening to a weather radio, local television or radio reports. Make sure you have plenty of extra new, fresh batteries before bad weather strikes.