(Cleveland)-With winter weather expected this weekend in north Georgia the White County Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security’s (GEMA’s) Ready Georgia campaign urges you to prepare now for the event. Below are some tips to aid you in the preparation.
Are You Prepared for the Next Winter Storm?
Snow and ice are a scenic part of winter, but in Georgia, severe winter weather has the
potential to devastate communities and affect millions of people.
The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as “deceptive killers” because most
deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads
and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.
“One of the primary concerns of winter weather is its ability to knock out heat, power and
communications services,” said White County Public Safety Director Murphy. “Preparation is
inexpensive and easy and can help you avoid potentially life-threatening situations.”
White County Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Emergency Management
Agency/Homeland Security’s (GEMA’s) Ready Georgia campaign offers these tips:
Prepare a Ready Kit of Emergency Supplies
• Prepare a Ready kit of emergency supplies for your home. Include with at least a three-
day supply of nonperishable food, water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a NOAA
Weather Radio, adequate clothing, and blankets to keep you warm, as well as additional
supplies for the unique needs of your family, such as medications.
• Keep an extra Ready kit in the trunk of your car. In addition to the essentials, consider
adding an ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
• Ensure proper home insulation by placing weather stripping around doors and windows,
allowing faucets to drip during cold weather to prevent freezing and opening cabinet
doors to let heat reach uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
• Winterize your vehicle and keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent your fuel line
Create a Winter Weather Plan
• Plan to stay inside, if necessary, for at least three days. If trapped outside during severe
winter weather, try to stay dry, cover all body parts, periodically move limbs to keep
blood circulating and, if possible, build a fire.
• Winter storms are often accompanied by power outages. Always exercise caution when
using alternative light and heating sources:
o Use flashlights during power outages instead of candles to prevent the risk of fire
and keep plenty of extra batteries on-hand.
o Never bring portable generators, camp stoves, and grills into your home; they
should only be used outside. Keep them at least 20 feet away from your home’s
windows, doors, and vents to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
• People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate
arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period.
• If you have a wood-burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter
weather knocks out your gas or electric heat. Also, make sure to have your chimney
cleaned and inspected every year.
• Learn how to keep food safe during a power outage.
• Avoid traveling by car in icy conditions. If you must go out and do get stuck, stay with
your car. Leave the overhead lights on when the engine is running so you can be seen.
• Plan for pets to come inside and store adequate food and water for them.
• Create an emergency communications plan so family members will know who to contact
if separated during a storm. Designate at least one out-of-town contact that all family
members can call.
Stay Informed about Winter Weather
• Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio and monitor commercial radio, television, and the
Internet to stay informed of winter weather.
• Learn about the terms used to describe winter hazards such as freezing rain, sleet,
winter weather advisory, winter storm watch and winter storm warning.
• Know the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite occurs when your body
tissue freezes. Your extremities may have a white or pale appearance and may lose
feeling. The most susceptible areas of your body are the fingers, toes, earlobes, or the
tip of your nose. Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature falls below 95
degrees. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation,
incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and exhaustion. If you suspect you have
frostbite or hypothermia, get medical attention immediately.
To help families prepare, Ready Georgia, a statewide emergency preparedness
campaign established by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security
and supported by White County EMA, offers the tools needed to make an emergency supply
kit, develop a communications plan, and stay informed about potential threats. Visitors to
Ready Georgia’s website, www.ready.ga.gov, can create an online profile to receive a
tailored plan for the entire family that includes the specific number of supplies to put in their
household Ready kits. They can also find local emergency contact information, learn about
Georgia-specific disasters, and read preparedness testimonials from local sports stars.
Children’s games and activities can be found on the ReadyKids page, and households with
elderly or disabled family members and pets will also find specific information on preparing
for severe weather. For preparedness on the go, families can also download Ready
Georgia’s free mobile app to learn how to prepare for emergencies, create family
communications plans, and more.
For more information, contact White County EMA at (706) 865-9500 or visit our website