Monthly Archives: January 2011

15 Questions: Are You Prepared for Severe Weather?

By Kevin Hagler

Who can forget when 11 tornadoes touched down in Atlanta in March, 2008? Photo Credit: WXIA 11 Alive News

February 6-12 is Severe Weather Awareness week and the Atlanta Red Cross asks 15 questions to get you thinking about how prepared you really are:

1. When do tornadoes occur?

As evidenced by last month’s touch down in Buford, Geogia, tornadoes can happen just about any time of year in Georgia. The months of March – May are most active though, with a major peak in mid- April and another weaker peak around November.

2. How often do tornadoes occur?

In the United States, 600 to 700 tornadoes are reported each year.

3. What is the difference between a tornado “watch” and “warning”?

“Watch” – a tornado is possible; “warning” a tornado has been spotted in your area.

3. Which is the only city to appear twice on top 25 deadliest storms in the U.S.

Gainesville, Georgia. In fact, Gainesville is also home to the 5th deadliest U.S. storm which claimed 203 lives in  April of 1936.

5. Do tornadoes avoid big cities?

No, As evidenced by the storms of March 2008 in Atlanta, tornadoes can touch down in big cities.

6. How do I know when a tornado is about to hit?

Stay tuned for storm warnings; Look for sickly greenish or black color in the sky; Fast moving clouds; Hail; among others.

7.  Where are tornadoes most common in Georgia?

Visit: for more information

8.What do I do if I am caught outside during a storm?

Find shelter ASAP. See below.

9. Where is the best place to be during a tornado?

In a storm shelter specifically designed for that use inside your basement or outside your home entirely. If you don’t have a storm shelter or a basement, a small windowless room or a closet will do.

10. Where do I find shelter if a storm is approaching?

Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.

11. What supplies should I have in case of a thunderstorm?

See below

12. Should I unplug all my household appliances if a storm is approaching?

Yes.  Unplug all household appliances to avoid a power surge.

13. Is taking a shower during a storm dangerous?

Yes. Avoid taking showers or running water for that matter.

14. Are air conditioners ok to run during a storm?

No. Turn off air conditioners  to avoid power surges and costly repairs.

15. Who should I call in case of an emergency?

9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services number (EMS). 

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Atlanta Red Cross urges preparedness as winter weather continues

UPDATE: More snow is expected on Thursday, as Atlanta thaws from last week’s crippling snowstorm.

While many of metro-Atlanta’s citizens prepared for the impact of a snowstorm in the supermarket, many residents were  still not fully prepared for winter emergencies. The Atlanta Red cross strongly recommends preparation for winter weather by following these easy steps:

Get a Disaster Supplies Kit For Your Home:

...your disaster supplies kit

  • Three-day supply of non perishable items, high-energy food and manual can opener.
  • Three-day supply of water (one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and hygiene.)
  • First aid kit and essential medications
  • Battery powered or hand-cranked radio.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Extra warm clothing, including boots, mittens, and hats.
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificate, tile/deed to home, insurance policies, etc) in a water proof container. Continue reading