It's hurricane season, are you ready? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

It's hurricane season, are you ready?

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Hurricane season started Monday. Emergency workers say if you're not prepared, you better get ready.

They say you need to come up with an emergency plan.

And you need to have a weather radio and extra batteries ready.

Last year Tropical Storm Fay's heavy rain flooded much of south Georgia. And just a couple months ago, spring storms and flooding devastated many homes and families as well. So unfortunately many people in south georgia are still recovering from that disaster. Even if you've never experienced flooding or damage before, you still need to prepare.

We don't live on the coast, but that doesn't mean south Georgia is immune to damage from hurricanes and tropical storms.

"People think since we don't live right near the gulf that we don't have to worry, that's not true," says Kristin Riggs with the Georgia Wiregrass Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Last year, Tropical Storm Fay was proof of that. Heavy winds ripped through the region flooding dozens of homes, even claiming the life of a little boy in Grady county.

"Tropical Storm Fay devastated our region. 28 inches of rain in 24 hours," says Riggs.

"We've had unusual high amounts of rainfall the past couple of hurricane seasons," says Thomas County EMA Director Chris Jones.

And with the weather's unpredictable patterns, this year could produce similar storms.

That's why preparation is key.

"Have a family disaster kit already put together. And you'll need cash," he says.

Also, make a decision now about evacuations.

"Go ahead and have a place to go, know how you'll get there," he says.

Emergency managers warn if flooding has occurred in your area before it's likely it will flood there again.

And most importantly, when it rains, stay off the roads as much as possible.

"I can't stress enough. The number one reason for fatalities during storms is flooding. Don't drive over roads covered in water," says Jones.

But aside from stressing safety, workers at the Red Cross say they need your help.

"We always need volunteers," says Riggs.

And they're recruiting hard, looking for people to help run shelters, and distribute food if a disaster strikes.

"We are not immune to a disaster. That's why we are gearing up right now and preparing," says Riggs.

And you need to begin gearing up for storms at home. The best way to do that, is have a kit ready. You can put medications, flashlights, blankets...anything you may need if you have to evacuate or are without power for several days.

And make sure you have plenty of water in the kit. Emergency managers recommend preparing with one gallon of water, per person, per day.

So depending on how large your family is you may need several boxes like this one handy.

The Georgia Wiregrass chapter of the red cross told us they have 50 volunteers but need many more.

They'll have a volunteer training class this Saturday in Thomasville from 10am to 3pm.

We have a Hurricane section with tracking maps and other interesting features on our website.

Check out the WEATHER page of walb.com.

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