Chatham County Emergency Management say it is critical to have an emergency plan


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham County Emergency Management officials said even in a pandemic, having a place to shelter during a severe weather threat, should be your priority. They said preparing for what could happen can save lives.

“You’ve got to look at severe weather which could absolutely take lives and wreak havoc in a community versus a virus that has the potential to do so, so when it comes to life safety and threats you’ve got to meet the one that’s most important right this second,” Chelsea Sawyer, the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for CEMA, stated.

Sawyer encouraged people to be proactive and prepare before the weather threats intensify—recommending people to have a place prepared in the lowest floor of their home, in a room without windows, and to take shelter under something sturdy like a workbench or desk.

“One of the best things that you can do if you have a small child, you can put them in a helmet, even their regular helmet that they would wear to ride their bicycle is perfect, something to protect their head. If they’re younger than that age and you still have an infant car seat in the house you can easily put them in there,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer recommended people who live in mobile homes to find someone that they could stay with, while doing what they can to follow social distancing precautions.

If you do not have a place to shelter or the time to get to a shelter: “Find something to help protect you, I’d try to go to the center of it, try to make sure that you are as flat as you can be. You could go inside of a car or worst case scenario, you could lie flat in a ditch. You don’t want to be in an open field because you’re at risk for lightning because not only are we worried about tornado safety but we’re also worried about severe thunderstorms in general.”

You can download the WSAV App for alerts on significant weather heading your way and to get the latest updates from WSAV’s Storm Team 3.

Sawyer said to make sure you have your emergency alert notifications turned on.

“I’ve seen probably hundreds of individuals that have been devastated. Don’t become a casualty to this incident, don’t make it worse on yourself, this is already an incredibly difficult time,” Sawyer said.

If you need to get in touch with authorities but it is not an emergency, Sawyer said to call (912) – 652 – 6667 to get in touch with the Chatham Dispatch Center.

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