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City of Decatur: Stay Weather Aware & Be Prepared

Things to know to prepare for the incoming inclement weather.

Courtesy National Weather Service
Courtesy National Weather Service

From the City of Decatur

The latest weather update from DEMA / National Weather Service shows Decatur should be prepared for storms overnight and into the early morning. As of this posting, models are showing that the strongest part of the storm will most likely hit during the Tuesday morning rush hour. Everyone is urged to check the weather before getting on the road to go to work tomorrow morning.

As a reminder, turn your weather radio on and keep your phone close for Code Red/Weather Warn messages. Have a plan to take care of your family as well as your pets. Please don’t leave your pets outside during severe weather.

There is the possibility of tornados, hail and flash flooding in and around the City of Decatur. The community is urged to stay off the roads if possible once the heavy rain and thunderstorms start. Severe weather could continue in the area through Thursday.

Severe weather is expected to arrive in Decatur between 6 and 8 p.m. tonight and will last through Thursday. Tornadoes, flooding, severe thunderstorms and lightning are all possible during this time.

Here are things to do NOW to prepare for the inclement weather:

  • Make sure you have enough emergency food and water supplies to last for three days per person. If you have pets, make sure you have the necessary supplies to feed and care for them.
  • Register your phones for the Code Red Weather Warnings. This system will alert you to the dangers of severe weather and any other emergencies that require quick notification.
  • Create or update your Smart911 profile. Be sure to include any special medical concerns, especially if anyone in your household requires medical equipment that uses electricity.
  • Review your family’s emergency plan, and remind everyone where the safest place to shelter in your house is.
  • Charge all cell phones and put fresh batteries in emergency radios.
  • Download the FEMA smartphone app for additional tips and emergency information.

Remember:

  • Always remain calm.
  • Power outages or trees on power lines should be reported directly to Georgia Power at 1-888-891-0938.
  • The police non-emergency number is 404-373-6551.
  • Have a plan to check on any vulnerable neighbors (for example, seniors or those with medical conditions) during and after the storm.
  • When contacting loved ones, a text message is more likely to get through in an emergency situation than a phone call.

Tornado sirens: What you need to know

Decatur has installed four outdoor sirens to warn the community when such a threat occurs. The sirens are located at Glennwood Academy, Winnona Park Elementary, Oakhurst Elementary and the City Schools Administration Building on Scott Boulevard.

What are Tornado Outdoor Warning Sirens?

They are alarms that will be sounded to alert citizens who are outdoors that a tornado may be imminent. They are not designed to be heard inside a home or other building.

Who decides to sound the sirens and when will I hear them?

Sirens will be sounded by personnel in Decatur’s Police Communications Center when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for the Decatur area or when a tornado is spotted by a member of public safety. The sirens will sound for three to five minutes.

What should I do when I hear the siren?

Take immediate cover. Go indoors to a safe room at ground level or below with as few windows as possible. Basements are usually the best option. If you are in a vehicle and see a tornado approaching, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building. If a building is not available, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter. Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries. Stay in a safe place until the weather improves.

How will my family be alerted indoors and at night?

Everyone must take personal responsibility to monitor radio and television weather reports when severe weather occurs. In a crisis, the Emergency Alert System instantly interrupts radio and TV broadcasts to provide emergency information. The National Weather Service (NWS) uses the system to alert the public to emergency weather information and dangerous conditions. EAS warnings are also transmitted on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio. Since neither the sirens nor the media may alert you indoors at night, we recommend that households and businesses have a Weather Alert Radio, which sounds an alarm when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning. If you buy a radio, we strongly recommend you purchase one that is programmable with your local county code.

More information about tornado safety can be found at http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

David Brown April 29, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Thank you Patch for reporting something local. We residents of Decatur appreciate it.

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