WASHINGTON – As restoration and recovery efforts get underway in Georgia, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today released the following statement and information for those affected by the severe weather and deadly tornadoes across central and South Georgia on January 21 and 22, 2017

Dianne and I send our condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and the communities in Georgia that have been devastated by this weekend’s severe storms,” said Isakson. “Many of these same communities are still grappling with recovery from storms earlier this month, and our prayers are with them. We are closely monitoring the cleanup and recovery efforts and damage assessments as they progress and will continue to actively work together with FEMA, Governor Deal and local authorities to do all we can to aid in those efforts. We especially send our thanks and appreciation to the many first responders and volunteers working daily to recover from these terrible storms.

On Jan. 22, 2017, Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for Atkinson, Berrien, Brooks, Colquitt, Cook, Lowndes and Thomas counties. Nine additional counties were added to the declaration on Jan. 23, 2017, to include Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Crisp, Dougherty, Mitchell, Turner, Wilcox and Worth counties.

Gov. Deal also announced today that he is extending the executive order to run through midnight on Jan. 30, 2017. A map of the 16 counties now covered under this emergency declaration is above.

Isakson, along with U.S. Senator David Perdue, R-Ga., has been in communication with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Homeland Security, Governor Nathan Deal’s office, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, and other local officials.

Federal Emergency Management Agency activated the Regional Response Coordination Center in Atlanta, Ga., to a Level III, and stood up the Enhanced Watch at FEMA headquarters in Washington, DC, on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. The Regional Response Coordination Center was activated to an Enhanced Watch level on Saturday evening, and is working around the clock to support state, tribal and local governments. These facilities bring together partners from the federal family to closely coordinate federal resources that may be requested from the affected state and tribal governments.

FEMA has deployed liaison officers to Georgia and other affected states to support response activities. Additional teams have been placed on alert for possible deployment should they be needed and requested.State agencies assisting in the seven counties include:

• Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, which is coordinating all disaster response, www.gema.ga.gov

• Department of Public Heath, which has deployed trauma trailers www.dph.georgia.gov

• Georgia Search and Rescue Task Force 2 (Valdosta)

• Department of Natural Resources, www.gadnr.org

• Department of Public Safety, www.dps.georgia.gov

For additional information regarding assistance in individual counties, visit: http://www.gema.ga.gov/Pages/Georgia-Map.aspx

As severe weather and tornado outbreaks continue through the year, Georgians should be prepared and know what to do in case of emergency to help minimize loss of life.

Visit Ready Georgia for helpful preparedness tips and to download the Ready Georgia mobile app for the latest information on developing weather conditions.

The National Weather Service provides useful information regarding which areas are likely to be impacted during a storm, and real-time information on whether your county is under a watch, warning or advisory.

During a weather emergency, you can also listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to and heed the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

Finally, for more information and severe weather safety tips, please visit: https://www.ready.gov/severe-weather or www.listo.gov to find out how to prepare for severe storms and other disasters.