Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Residents Urged To Prepare As Tropical Storm Fay Approaches South Georgia

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) encourages residents of south Georgia to prepare now in anticipation of heavy rain and possible localized flooding from Tropical Storm Fay.

At 2 p.m., Fay was stationary north of Cape Canaveral, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour. The storm is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 3-6 inches and possibly more in isolated areas over southeastern Georgia as it moves northwest across the Florida Panhandle.

"Whether you're along Georgia's coast or inland, it is critical to heed local warnings and take preparedness steps now," says GEMA Director Charley English. "Even though Tropical Storm Fay may not enter Georgia, it may generate localized flooding, isolated tornadoes and power outages."

If you haven't already stocked a disaster supplies kit, you should do so now. Include:

Enough water and non-perishable food per person to last for at least three days.

Special items for infants, the infirmed and the elderly.

Pet supplies.

First aid kit and essential medications.

Protective clothing, rainwear and bedding or sleeping bags.

Battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.

An extra set of car keys and cash in small denominations.

Execute or create your family disaster plan.

Choose a place where your family will meet if they can't return home.

Designate an out-of-town relative or friend as a point of contact.

Become familiar with evacuation routes, and know where you will go if ordered to leave. Keep a road map in your car: You may need to take an unfamiliar route if major roads are closed or clogged.

Take a disaster supplies kit with you if you must evacuate.

Evacuate early if you live in a low-lying, flood-prone or on a barrier island.

Coastal residents should prepare for high winds:

Prepare to bring inside any outdoor furniture, decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.

Fill your vehicle's fuel tank.

Recheck manufactured home tie-downs.

Make trees more wind resistant by trimming diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically remove branches so that wind can blow through.

Stay tuned to television, radio and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for the latest storm information.

Know the difference between a tropical storm watch and warning. A watch means that tropical conditions (gusty winds 39-73 mph, strong thunderstorms) are possible within 36 hours. A warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 24 hours.

When a tropical storm warning is issued, you should:

Listen to the advice of local officials and comply immediately.

If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows.

Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen during a tropical storm and after it passes.
Remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a room without windows.

Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.

GEMA has activated the state operations center (SOC) and deployed field coordinators in south Georgia to facilitate local needs. In addition, appropriate state agencies are standing by to provide assistance.

The mission of GEMA is to provide a comprehensive and aggressive all-hazards approach to emergency management and homeland security initiatives, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and special events.

For information on preparedness and response activities, visit GEMA's Web site at, and
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