By Kevin Hagler
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: http://ourgeorgiahistory.com/ogh/Georgia_Tornadoes 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?
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).