Tornado Drill to be Held on Nov. 4
(ATLANTA) – The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) is holding a statewide tornado drill Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 9:30 a.m. This event coincides with Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Day.
“Tornadoes can occur anywhere in Georgia at any time, so it’s important to be prepared,” said Chris Stallings, Director of GEMA/HS. “Knowing how to properly respond to this type of event can save lives.”
The National Weather Service (NWS) will send out a customized Routine Weekly Test (RWT) at 9:30 a.m. via NOAA Weather Radio. GEMA/HS encourages all Georgians to participate in the drill. To learn more about how to prepare, plan and stay informed about tornadoes, read the following tips:
Before a drill
- Make a “Ready Kit” for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
- Familiarize yourself with the terminology used to identify a tornado hazard.
- A tornado watch means weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop.
- A tornado warning means either a tornado is occurring, or expected to develop shortly in your area and you need to take shelter immediately.
- Determine in advance where you will take shelter during the tornado drill.
- Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
- If underground shelter is not available, an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible is the best option.
- In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
During a drill
- Announce the start of the tornado drill and inform participants that they should act as though a tornado warning has been issued.
- Evacuate participants just as you would if you were taking shelter during a tornado warning. Use stairs to reach the lowest level of a building; avoid using elevators.
- Once participants reach the designated safe area, they should crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and covering their heads with their hands.
- Once everyone has been evacuated and taken cover, announce that the drill is over.
After a drill
- Review the drill to identify any necessary changes or improvements to your tornado safety procedures. For example:
- Do more safe areas need to be identified?
- Do the designated safe areas need to have clutter removed or need to be cleaned out to be more accessible?
- Does everyone know the fastest routes to take shelter in the safe areas?
- Is there a better method for letting everyone know of an approaching tornado needed?
As part of the Office of the Governor, GEMA/HS works with local, state and federal governments, in partnership with the private sector and faith-based community, to protect life and property against man-made and natural emergencies. In addition, GEMA/HS employees are on 24-hour call statewide to assist local authorities when disaster strikes. GEMA/HS’s “Ready Georgia” campaign helps Georgians prepare for disasters. Visit www.gema.ga.gov for more information.