In partnership with the National Weather Service, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency encourages Georgians to learn and understand the threats of severe weather and prepare for various weather events during Severe Weather Preparedness Week on February 6-10.

Spring is traditionally a period where the threat of tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail, and lightning from severe thunderstorms dramatically increases. Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a reminder to review emergency procedures and prepare for weather-related hazards.

GEMA/HS will distribute severe weather preparedness information via social media channels and provide toolkits to local emergency management directors for sharing this information in their counties during the SWPW campaign.

Each day of the campaign will address the following topics:

  • Monday, February 6 – Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day: Purchase a life-saving NOAA Weather Radio and choose an out-of-state friend as a “check-in” contact to call if your family gets separated.
  • Tuesday, February 7 – Thunderstorm Safety: Learn the difference between a thunderstorm watch and a thunderstorm warning.
  • Wednesday, February 8 – Tornado Safety (Drill at 9 a.m.): Determine where you will take shelter in case of a warning.
  • Thursday, February 9 – Lightning Safety: Learn the 30/30 rule. If you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder after seeing lightning, go indoors. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
  • Friday, February 10 – Flood Safety: Copy essential documents, seal them in a watertight container, and add them to your Ready kit.

On Wednesday, February 8, GEMA emphasizes tornado safety. Residents, schools, and businesses are encouraged to participate in Ready Georgia’s PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety, a statewide tornado drill at 9 a.m. For more information on drill procedures, visit

Local emergency management agencies are also excellent resources for information or tips to help families, schools, and organizations stay prepared. Tune into Bartow’s Morning News on Monday to hear from Bartow County Fire and Emergency Services Deputy EMA Director Marcus Warren and Cartersville Fire Marshal Mark Hathaway on Wednesday.

For more resources on preparing your home, school, or business for severe weather emergencies and other disasters, visit and follow @GeorgiaEMAHS on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for preparedness tips and emergency information.