Forsyth County offers tips on how families can prepare for weather emergencies

Justine Lookenott
A damaged car after a stormPhoto byMick HauptonUnsplash

(Forsyth County, GA) This week, Forsyth County is partnering with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) and the National Weather Service (NWS) for Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

From Monday, February 6 to Friday, February 10, the county will be practicing its severe weather safety actions and procedures as well as educating the public about it by dividing each day into themes.

Today’s theme is Family Preparedness/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

The Forsyth County Government acknowledged the day on its Facebook page, saying “You and your loved ones may not always be together when disaster strikes, and having a family emergency plan could be lifesaving.”

Forsyth County Emergency Management Agency gives four main tips when it comes to families preparing for emergencies:

  1. Make a list of important information such as: school and work contacts, insurance policies, etc…
  2. Identify an out-of-town friend or family member for everyone to call
  3. Select a safe meeting space near home and another one far away
  4. Give a printed copy of the plan to each family member and store it on your cell phone

GEMA/HS offers a communication plan outline to assist in planning for emergencies. The website also has advice on many other related topics such as how to build an emergency kit and create an evacuation plan.

One aspect of Family Preparedness is staying informed. The NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts weather alerts and emergencies. According to a Facebook post from the NWS, the radio uses 1,025 transmitters to cover all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and US Pacific Territories and coastal waters.

More information on the NOAA Weather Radio can be found here. A list of stations in Georgia can be found here.

The NWS also advises residents to make sure their phones are enabled to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) from authorities as well. More information can be found at

Residents can also sign up to receive free emergency alerts via text message, phone call or email from the county here. Phone usage and text charges may apply.

Emergency alerts are sent out for severe thunderstorms, flash floods and tornadoes. Other emergency situations include public safety issues and water notifications from the Forsyth County Water & Sewer Department.

Below is the schedule for the rest of Severe Weather Emergency Preparedness Week:

  • Tuesday, February 7 –Thunderstorm Safety
  • Wednesday, February 8 –Tornado Safety
  • Thursday, February 9 –Lightning Safety
  • Friday, February 10 –Flood Safety

Tornado sirens will be activated on Wednesday, February 8 for the county to practice its tornado safety drills. This drill will only take place if the weather is good to avoid any confusion. If the drill is postponed, it will take place on Friday, February 10.

The county will continue to post emergency preparedness information and tips on its Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the week.

More information on Severe Weather Preparedness Week and emergency preparedness can be found at this link or by contacting the Forsyth County EMA at

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact Justine Lookenott at

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I cover local news in Forsyth County, GA. My debut into the writing world began at the age of 10 when I won an essay contest in Around Acworth Magazine in which I wrote about spending the summer with my pet goat, Eclair. Since graduating from Kennesaw State University, I have been published in several newspapers and magazines in the Atlanta area including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta School Guide, What Now Atlanta, Newcomer Magazine, the Marietta Daily Journal and the Cherokee Tribune.

Forsyth County, GA

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