Georgians are encouraged to prepare for the unexpected during Severe Weather Preparedness Week which is held February 5th-9th. Each day focuses on a different preparedness topic, giving residents the opportunity to learn about each severe weather threat and take one simple action to prepare. On Monday, February 5th it is Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day. They recommend that families purchase a life-saving NOAA Weather Radio and choose an out-of-state friend as a “check-in” contact to call if your family gets separated. This is a great plan to have any many of us do not think about it until the emergency arises. Following this recommendation helps us to be prepared for the emergency. On Tuesday, February 6th it is Thunderstorm Safety. It is recommended to learn the difference between a thunderstorm watch and a thunderstorm warning. A severe thunderstorm watch (SAME code: SVA; sometimes referred to as “blue box” or “yellow box” by meteorologists and storm chasers) is issued when weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms. A severe thunderstorm warning (SAME code: SVR) is issued when trained storm spotters or a Doppler weather radar indicate that a thunderstorm is producing or will soon produce dangerously large hail or high winds, capable of causing significant damage. On Wednesday, February 7th is Tornado Safety (and PrepareAthon! drill for tornado safety) – Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning, and find out how to practice your preparedness skills during the PrepareAthon! drill for tornado safety. When the danger arises, it is better to already have the plan in place. On Thursday, February 8th is Lightning Safety – Learn the 30/30 rule. Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder. This seems easy enough to me to follow. And on Friday February 9th is Flood Safety (alternate date for PrepareAthon! drill for tornado safety) – Copy important documents, seal them in a watertight container and add them to your Ready kit. People often think you must live near water to have a flood however this is not true. If large amounts of rain fall in a short amount of time, this can cause local flooding. Always be prepared with the most important information that you can move in a quick hurry!