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Severe Weather Safety at Home

January 1, 2013 5:35am (EST)
The National Weather Service says that as a cold front passes through Georgia on Wednesday, numerous thunderstorms will develop.
The National Weather Service says that as a cold front passes through Georgia on Wednesday, numerous thunderstorms will develop.

Spring seems to be on it's way already with several unseasonably warm days. In Georgia, that means storms. Often, those storms can be severe, as we're seeing today.

Today's storm has potential for tornadoes. In fact, as I type several counties are already under a tornado warning that will last into the afternoon. This morning I sent my son to school with a gut filled with anxiety over the storm that's coming and the knowledge that his school does not have a basement. This storm, the first of many severe storms Georgians are likely to see in 2013, provided a good opportunity to refresh my memory on ways to stay safe during storms and to share them with my son, too.

Weather Channel meteorologist Maria LaRosa demonstrates in the video below how she and her family stay safe during severe weather.

While we may not receive tornado threats as often as places like Kansas, Georgia still does get a significant number of tornado watches in relation to the rest of the country. The image below (from weather.com) illustrates what is known as Dixie Tornado Alley. Our region gets enough traffic to have its own name. To me, this means we should stay prepared!

During severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, your number one goal is safety. Here are some tips from Maria LaRosa's video:

  • Have shoes handy in the event that you need to climb through some rubble.
  • Keep a bicycle helmet with you to protect your head from falling debris.
  • Keep a device handy to stay informed on the current weather situation.
  • Stay together.
  • Get to the lowest, most insulated part of your home.

Since my son will be away at school when the storm is expected to hit our area, I added another step to our morning routine. I told him there would be a storm with a lot of thunder and lightning and that he can go get his nap blanket anytime he gets too scared. Most importantly, I told reiterated listening to his teacher and following directions to stay safe. In addition to that, I'll be highly anxious all day. But, I know I've done as much as I can at this point.

I loved Maria's example of practicing their emergency drill together and will definitely be doing the same with my family! Does your family have a safety plan or designated hideaway area for severe weather?

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