Emergency officials stress hurricane preparedness

Emergency officials stress hurricane preparedness
Jenna Wirtz (Source: WALB)
Jenna Wirtz (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Emergency management officials in southwest Georgia are stressing disaster preparedness as parts of Texas recover from the devastating impacts of Harvey.

Jenna Wirtz, emergency management specialist for Dougherty County, said tropical storm Harvey is a reminder of how being prepared can save lives.

Many southwest Georgia counties are too far inland to feel a direct impact from a hurricane, but could still experience tropical storm spinoffs from a hurricane. The effects would include heavy rain, strong winds, and localized flooding. More southern counties could feel an even stronger impact.

She said we can all learn something from seeing the aftermath of storms like Harvey.

"Once you see there's a potential for impact, that's when you need to start thinking about whether or not you need to move to a safer location, whether you need to gather your family together, whether you need to evacuate or shelter in place," she said. "Make those plans. If you don't end up having to execute those plans, great, but at least you already have them."

Dougherty County could feel other impacts from a hurricane, too, since it is part of the evacuation routes from coastal areas.

"We would probably see larger crowds of people checking into local hotels, the lines at fuel stations could potentially be a little bit longer, you would see increased traffic on our highways," Wirtz said.

Wirtz encourages every family to know their emergency plan. Know where to meet and who to call. Have food and water on hand for at least three to five days.
Have a disaster supplies kit ready with flashlights, extra batteries, a weather radio, portable phone chargers, cash and important documents.

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