Emergency personnel prepare for hurricane season - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Emergency personnel prepare for hurricane season

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - The recent tornadoes and flooding across the country may just be the beginning. The 2011 Hurricane Season officially begins June 1st.

Emergency management personnel from across the southeast were in Thomasville today. "We have a host of people here from Southern Alabama, the panhandle of Florida, from South Georgia and North Florida areas," said Thomas County Fire Chief Chris Jones.

The workshop began with an overview of the most up to date hurricane information. One of the changes is longer watch and warning periods. Hurricane watches have been extended from 36 to 48 hours before a storm and warnings from 24 to 36.

Jones says it's important to go through these steps. "It's training on some of the tools and preparedness things we can use that they offer in the event of a hurricane that's potentially affecting our area."

After the teaching section, National Weather Service Meteorologists presented a scenario to the emergency personnel. "We're going through a simulated exercise. We're actually bringing a displaced real time hurricane into our region," said Meteorologist Jeff Evans.

Evans says these workshops keep our officials from getting rusty. "Our region has not had a direct hurricane hit in quite a long time."

Evans says the 2011 season has the potential to be a very active one. He says after today our emergency management personnel should be ready for any major storm that comes our way.

If you'd like more information on storm preparedness, please visit the weather page of our website.

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