This is a week to prepare for three months of potential danger.
Severe Weather Awareness Week is Feb. 17-23 and will include events aimed at teaching the public safety during dangerous weather conditions.
"We always have it during the third week in February to prepare for severe weather season, which is March, April and May," said Pam Tucker, Columbia County's Emergency Services director. She said the week will start with a family protection day Monday.
"That's a day that people are supposed to develop family disaster plans," she said. "They can contact us, and we have an outline that they can go by."
Tucker advises families to have backup supplies of water, nonperishable food, a battery-operated radio, extra batteries and a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration radio.
"If you go to the store, you can get (a NOAA radio) at any electronics department," she said, adding that the radios cost $20 to $60. "Make sure you get the tone alert."
On Wednesday morning, there will be a countywide tornado drill at an unannounced time. The alert will be given from the National Weather Service. Tucker said she hopes residents will contact her office to let them know how well people received the warning.
"If you're at home, at work or at school, we want everybody to participate," she said.
Tucker said the public also can contact her office throughout the week for information on weather-related safety precautions.
"Get prepared now," she said. "Don't wait. If you wait until a tornado warning or watch is issued, it's too late."
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