(WTVM) - Georgia's severe weather awareness week continues today with the topic of tornado safety.
Last year, there were 17 tornadoes across Georgia causing more than $70 million in damage.
Meteorologist Elisabeth D'Amore has information to help you prepare before the storm and what to do if a tornado strikes.
It is crucial for your family to prepare now before the threat of severe weather occurs. Familiarize yourself with the terms used to identify tornado hazards.
A "Tornado Watch" is issued when conditions are favorable for tornadoes and a "Tornado Warning" means a tornado has been spotted or indicated by radar.
The best way to get weather information like watches and warnings is with a NOAA Weather Radio. Some counties may have outdoor warning sirens that will alert people who are outside to a tornado warning, but these should not be the first way you get your information.
After the warning is issued, you have to seek shelter immediately. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor.
Bring pillows and blankets to protect your head and body and put on shoes. If you're in a car or mobile home, abandon those for more substantial shelter.
After a storm passes report any fallen power lines or gas leaks to the utility company immediately.
And for more information on severe weather you can visit the Weather tab..
There you can also find a list of dates storm team nine will be holding weather radio programming events in preparation for the upcoming severe weather season.