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Here’s how to get prepared for severe weather

This week marks severe weather preparedness week
Updated: Feb. 1, 2021 at 7:26 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - It’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week and spring is known for its unpredictable weather.

The American Red Cross wants to make sure you are prepared.

The first thing they recommend is downloading their emergency app.

The Red Cross app “Emergency” has real-time alerts, shelter locations, and safety advice. They also recommend downloading their “first aid” app.

It has instant access to information on handling the most common emergencies.

Here are some tips:

  • Prepare in advance, especially for older adults. Know where to evacuate if needed, and have an emergency contact.
  • In case of a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately.
  • Prepare for strong winds, remove damaged limbs from trees.
  • Secure lawn furniture or anything else the wind can pick up.
  • Stay away from bridge or highway overpasses.
  • If strong winds and flying debris occurs while driving, pull over and park.

“It’s extremely important for people to take these steps in advance in order to prepare for the weather that is volatile and you just don’t know when a tornado can hit here in Georgia, so it’s very important you come up with a plan before any of this severe weather or emergency strikes,” said Ruby Ramirez, the communications manager for American Red Cross Georgia.

The Red Cross recommends taking shelter if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Here are more tips:

  • Avoid electrical equipment and telephones.
  • Keep away from windows.
  • Do not take a bath, shower, or use plumbing.
  • If you are driving, attempt to safely exit the roadway and park.
  • Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
  • If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, trees, and metal objects such as fences or bleachers.

Severe weather during a pandemic can have an even greater impact on the Red Cross’s ability to collect life-saving blood product because of increased canceled blood drives and decreased donor turnout in impacted areas. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need. If you are feeling well, please make an appointment today to give by sung the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling (1-800) RED CROSS.

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