-- Valdosta, Ga. - February 8, 2012 --
Tornado drills occurred throughout the state as part of Ready Georgia's safety campaign. The campaign is designed to educate and empower Georgians to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
The campaign is sponsored by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security. It provides the local service of the national program called Ready America.
One of the most important tools in the event of a tornado or severe weather is an NOAA Weather Radio. The radio broadcasts continuous weather and other hazard information 24 hours a day.
Other preparations for a tornado include stocking up at least 72 hours worth of food and water. Mobile homes are most at risk in the event of a tornado.
South Georgia experiences relatively unique kinds of tornadoes. County Clerk Paige Dukes says "here in south Georgia what we've seen mostly are tornadoes that come in during the night, many times they're cloaked in rain and they kind of drop down and destroy and then they're gone. So it's not something you're going to see coming across your city or town or rural area."
The chief of the Valdosta Fire Department, J.D. Rice says "we're very fortunate in this area that we have over a million dollars worth of trucks and equipment specifically designed for search and rescue in case we have to respond to any type of disaster in our area."
Tornadoes are the number one severe weather-related killer in Georgia. They caused 15 deaths and 143 injuries last year.
For more information log on to Ready Georgia's website at www.ready.ga.gov.