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Thursday May 7th, 2015 3:44AM

With more severe weather predicted, GEMA, Red Cross urge preparedness

By Ken Stanford Reporter
With another round of severe storms expected to enter Georgia this evening and overnight, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA) and the American Red Cross are urging Georgians to continue to stay weather-aware and prepare.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the primary threats for this system include damaging winds, flooding, hail and even an isolated tornado.

Georgians should stay informed about tonight's round of severe storms by monitoring their local media for the latest forecast. Also, be sure to have several ways to receive weather alerts, including a NOAA Weather Radio. NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations dedicated to broadcasting continuous weather information directly from a nearby NWS office. It is the best way to hear watches and warnings from NWS, even if they are issued in the middle of the night. They can be purchased at most big-box retailers, electronics stores, even grocery stores. Prices vary from $30 up, depending on the model.

Visit GEMA's Ready Georgia website to find information needed to create a disaster supply kit, develop a tailored communications plan and stay informed about the potential threats associated with this system. In addition, families can access children's games and activities, while households with pets or elderly or disabled family members will find specific information on preparing for severe weather.

For preparedness on the go, download Ready Georgia's free mobile app, which turns your iPhone or Android smartphone into an invaluable tool by providing mobile access to weather alerts, preparedness information, and even local shelter locations in the wake of a disaster.

To date, this system has produced an EF-2 tornado, which cut a 4-mile path through Troup and Heard counties. (See separate story.) In addition, one person died as a result of a single-car accident where weather was a factor.

The state operations center remains open with personnel from various state and volunteer agencies coordinating the state's response to requests for assistance from local governments on a 24-hour basis.

To learn how to prepare for disaster and create a custom kit and plan, visit www.ready.ga.gov or download the free Ready Georgia app. For specific risks in your community, contact your local emergency management agency.

RED CROSS TORNADO, FLOOD SAFETY

The American Red Cross Northeast Georgia chapter has safety steps people can follow and urges everyone in the path of this storm to get prepared now.

The storm system is expected to bring heavy rains, damaging winds, large hail and the possibility of more tornadoes to the Gulf Coast, Southeast, Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and Mid-Atlantic regions through Wednesday. Some regions could see as much as 5 inches of rain which could cause flooding in some areas.

"This storm is dangerous. People should pay attention to their local media and stay informed," said Joni Smith, Executive Director of Northeast Georgia Red Cross. "We have a list of steps people can take to help them stay safe."

TORNADO SAFETY People should know how their community will warn them about the storm. Other steps include the following:
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