ATLANTA, GA – Georgia is observing the National Weather Service’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week 2023, which runs from February 6 through February 10, and the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) is sharing how it prepares for all types of severe weather. The Peach State frequently endures severe weather including severe winds, tornados, freezing events, thunderstorms and more, with many of these occurring in the past few months.
“Georgia DOT prepares year-round for all types of weather events to ensure our crews have the tools and supplies at the ready when emergency response is needed,” said Emily Fish, Georgia DOT’s Assistant State Maintenance Engineer. “For example, in the summer we begin preparations for winter weather events – counting supplies, repairing broken equipment, ordering new items we need. And in the winter, we are restocking our equipment required for response to any tornado or thunderstorm event which may result in downed trees and severe damage to roadways. We are also constantly reviewing response plans for all types of weather emergency and conducting safety and skill trainings with employees. We never stop preparing.”
Each day of Severe Weather Preparedness Week will address the following topics:
- Monday, Feb. 6 – Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day
- Tuesday, Feb. 7 – Thunderstorm Safety
- Wednesday, Feb. 8 – Tornado Safety
- Thursday, Feb. 9 – Lightning Safety
- Friday, Feb. 10 – Flood Safety
Severe weather and driving often do not mix. Throughout this week, Georgia DOT is doing its part to educate the public around the themed topics above. Georgia DOT always encourages motorists to stay off the roads when possible during severe weather, especially freezing events, tornadoes, and flooding. But in the event that driving is necessary, the department offers the below tips:
- Be prepared. Know what you will do in every possible situation.
- Thunderstorms or high wind: If you see downed trees or powerlines, turn around and report them to your local authorities.
- Freezing events: Put gas in your car and keep extra blankets, food and water in your trunk. If you see what looks like a wet spot on the road and it’s colder than 32 degrees, it is likely black ice.
- Flooding: Turn around, don’t drown when it comes to flooding on roadways. It is never safe to drive into floodwaters; it takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars and just two feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks. You cannot see below the surface of the water to know how deep it is or if the road surface is compromised.
Georgia DOT is vigilant and ready to respond whenever severe weather is predicted. Crews from across the state join together to ensure you remain safe and can get to where you need to be. Response and clean up efforts are successful when communities, first responders, and state and local agencies work together. You can read a new Georgia DOT employee’s perspective on response and community togetherness following some recent tornados in East Central Georgia on our blog here.
For more information on Georgia DOT’s preparedness, check out the resources below:
- Georgia DOT Weather Emergencies webpage
- Ahead of the Curve Podcast – GDOT’s Winter Weather War Room
- Hurricane Safety Brochure
- Winter Weather Guide
- Milepost Magazine – Hurricane Readiness
- Milepost Magazine – Winter Weather Preparedness
For up-to-date information about travel conditions on Georgia’s interstates and state routes, call 511 or visit www.511ga.org before heading out. 511 is a free service that provides real-time statewide information on Georgia’s interstates and state routes, including traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures and delays due to inclement weather 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers can also transfer to operators to request HERO assistance in metro Atlanta or CHAMP service on highways in other regions of the state.
Georgia Department of Transportation plans, constructs and maintains Georgia’s state and federal highways. We’re involved in bridge, waterway, public transit, rail, general aviation, bike and pedestrian programs. And we help local governments maintain their roads. Georgia DOT and its nearly 4,000 employees are committed to delivering a transportation system focused on innovation, safety, sustainability and mobility. The Department’s vision is to boost Georgia’s competitiveness through leadership in transportation.
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