Muscogee County EMA prepares for severe weather this week

(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)
(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)
(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)
(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As we brace for another round of severe weather later this week across the Chattahoochee Valley, the Emergency Management Agency in Columbus is keeping a close eye on severe storms.

Officials with the Muscogee County Emergency Management Agency office say they prepare all year round for severe weather.

EMA Deputy Director Riley Land says it's something they do so they won't be caught off track when severe weather does strike.

"Spring, we know that's a very volatile time of year for major storms, thunderstorms, and possible tornados so we're sort of on the lookout all the time when we start seeing things develop out west we start looking at it a lot closer," says Land.

Land says his office receives weather alerts from the National Weather Service days before a storm gets close to our area.

He says if storms become severe they'll then utilize the 47 sirens across Columbus to alert people to seek shelter.

"We'll sound the sirens based on weather service tornado warning or if wind speeds exceed 55 miles an hour, those are the times the sirens will sound off and that's when you should seek shelter now," says Land

Land says after the sirens go off people have about 6 to 8 minutes to seek shelter

"We love having the responsibility of alerting the public with the outdoor siren but if you're indoors or in a car with a loud radio you can't always hear them, have an alternative method," says Land.

That method could be a weather radio or the free WTVM weather mobile app.

Land says having these tools are great but it's wise to prep with an emergency kit, food and water, and establish a communication and evacuation

"Have your plan in place ahead of time where you going to be, if you're at work know where your shelter is if you're at home know where
your shelter is," says Land.

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