Dougherty County prepares for hurricane season - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. prepares for hurricane season

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) – Hurricane season starts in a week. Forecasters expect an active season. They say higher ocean temperatures could lead to more and powerful storms.

Hurricanes that come ashore on the Florida Gulf coast lose a lot of steam by the time they get to south Georgia. But, they can still cause severe wind damage and catastrophic flooding here.

That's why you need to be prepared.

Most of us know the simple things to do during hurricane season. "You know just try to seek shelter and stay calm as I can," said Wanda Stewart. 

But when heavy rain hits, it's unnerving for a lot of people.  Stewart, who is afraid of storms, said, "It really does frighten me when I see the clouds come or start lighting or thundering real bad I get scared about that."

Being nervous in a crisis is normal. The record breaking Tropical Storm Alberto caused in 1994, is never far from our minds.  "We, Americus, ended up with twenty inches of rain in twenty four hours," said Julie Miller, Emergency Preparedness Director for Southwest Georgia Health. 

Having an emergency hurricane kit is necessary for survival.  Miller says don't forget to help out neighbors or senior citizens in severe weather times. "Know where our people are, know the areas that are prone to flooding and know where to seek shelter."

"What it does is at the same time we receive a signal from the national weather service to turn on our sirens, people receive telephone calls," said Dougherty Co. Emergency Medical Agency Director Jim Vaught. 

From the survival kit to Code Red, you can never be over-prepared. "The odds are that eventually a storm will come thru southwest Georgia our area, we've lived it," said Vaught. 

Odds of survival are much greater, if we're prepared. Also in case of an emergency, keep a picture ID with you at all times. It can help authorities reunite you with your family.

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