SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)—September is National Preparedness Month, but severe weather storms are likely to continue through November.
Georgia Power, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) are encouraging the community to take time now to prepare for potential emergencies.
First, build an emergency kit. Georgia Power spokesperson John Kraft says it’s important to gather supplies that will last for several days for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly.
“And this doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either,” Kraft said. “Think through using supplies you may already have on hand. Canned goods or first aid supplies that you can assemble for your emergency kit. Gallons of water instead of bottled water, which is much more economical.”
Hear more from Georgia Power’s John Kraft below:
Next, establish an emergency plan. Kraft says to have a discussion with your friends and family about how you will communicate in an emergency. He also says to make sure you update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus.
“Falling trees and downed power lines are always a big concern in these types of storms,” Kraft said. “Even for your regular thunderstorms…you want to have a plan in place with your family.”
Finally, Kraft says to understand your risks. Visit the Georgia Power website to learn more about different threats from potential emergencies around your home and business and plan appropriate responses to them.
“On the coast, you have storm surge to consider and evacuations,” Kraft said. “Whereas further inland, you might have flash flooding to worry about. You might have family members with particular medical needs.”
Kraft says severe weather can happen anytime across Georgia and it’s important to be informed about best practices before, during, and after a storm.
- Before a Storm: Know your risks of storm surge and tropical storm or hurricane-strength winds. Check your emergency kit, unplug major appliances, and charge cell phones in case you lose power.
- During a Storm: Have several ways to receive emergency notifications and weather updates. If your area is under an evacuation order, follow safety orders from local officials immediately.
- After a Storm: Never touch any downed or low-hanging wire, including telephone or TV wires that could touch a power line. Never pull tree limbs off power lines or enter areas with debris or downed trees as downed power lines may be buried in wreckage. Additionally, do not walk or drive through standing water as it may conceal live wires brought down by the storm.
You can also report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.