The Columbia County Emergency Operations Division has added a twist to end this year’s Severe Weather Awareness Week.
Starting Monday and lasting through Saturday, residents will be able to learn about severe weather and how best to prepare for natural disasters as Georgia recognizes Severe Weather Awareness Week.
New this year is Weatherfest 2012, which is designed to inform people about dangerous weather and keep them safe, said Columbia County Emergency and Operations Director Pam Tucker.
In conjunction with the WRDW-TV News 12 Storm Team, Tucker’s department will hold the event from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday inside the Evans Government Center auditorium, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive.
At the inaugural event, which is free, there will be a lecture by a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Columbia, Tucker said.
A representative from Home Depot will discuss equipment, such as generators, and meteorologists from News Channel 12, as well as a spokesperson with Georgia Power, will give presentations.
“We hope we never need any of this, but it gives people peace of mind to be prepared,” Tucker said.
Participants can sign up to win a NOAA alert radio, a 72-hour disaster kit and a Home Depot “go kit.”
Severe Weather Awareness Week starts with family preparedness on Monday, followed by thunderstorm safety on Tuesday, tornado safety, with a statewide tornado drill, on Wednesday, lightening safety on Thursday and flood safety on Friday. If bad weather occurs on Wednesday, the tornado drill will be moved to Friday.
Since 1875, there have been eight tornadoes reported in the county. Of those storms, four were recorded in the past decade.
“That is indicative that tornadoes are becoming more frequent,” Tucker said.
“We want people to know how to save themselves.”