(WTVM) - With Georgia's Severe Weather Preparedness week underway, Storm Team 9 wants everyone to know how to stay safe when a thunderstorm makes its way across the Valley.
Here in Georgia and Alabama, thunderstorms are very common events, particularly during the spring and summer. When a thunderstorm is strong enough, a severe thunderstorm warning could be issued for your area.
For a warning to be issued, a storm must produce at least one of the following:
- Hail 1” in diameter or larger
- Winds 58 MPH or greater
Sometimes a severe thunderstorm can produce a tornado. While a tornado can do significant damage, a strong wind can by just as powerful.
According to the Peachtree NWS Office, from 1950 to 2010 more than 15 deaths and more than 300 injuries were caused by strong, damaging winds across north and central Georgia.
How do you keep your family safe during a severe thunderstorm?
- Have a plan of action in place before threatening weather develops and know the difference between a watch and a warning. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to develop, but there is not an imminent threat. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means a severe thunderstorm has been detected and an imminent threat to life and property has developed.
- Make sure you’re inside and away from windows. Close the blinds and curtains to keep a barrier between you and broken glass if a window should be blown out or broken by large hail.
- Avoid using electrical items due to lightning. Stay weather alert until the storm passes. Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed and clean to avoid loose limbs from falling and damaging property. After the storm passes, stay away from dangerous conditions as downed power lines and flooded roadways.