The onset of spring typically brings warmer temperatures and spring rains.
But the season also marks the beginning of severe weather season.
Emergency officials are urging residents to know how to protect themselves and their families.
"Even though we see storms all during the year, predominately, the worst storms are going to be coming up over the next three months," said Pam Tucker, director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations.
Today through Saturday, state and local agencies will participate in Severe Weather Awareness Week 2009, highlighting the dangers of all types of severe weather.Each day of the week will focus on a particular type of weather. The week of events begins with Family Preparedness Day on Monday. Tucker said families need to have a plan of action in case severe weather strikes.
Schools, government agencies, nursing homes, day care centers and many residents will participate in Wednesday's statewide tornado drill. A make-up date is Friday in case of actual severe weather, Tucker said.
The drill is a chance to practice emergency plans. That plan should include a designated room in a house to seek shelter in, an emergency kit including a three-day supply of food and water, and a weather radio
"If people practice things the right way, they'll do it right when it happens," Tucker said.
The peak season for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the Southeast is in the months of March, April and May, Tucker said.
But the threat can extend through hurricane season into the fall, where secondary effects of hurricanes include tornadoes, thunderstorms and floods.
Tucker said all households should have a NOAA Weather Alert Radio, which can be purchased at any electronics store for as little as $20.
Detailed rules for all types of disasters can be found in Are You Ready?, a free publication that includes step-by-step guidelines on how to prepare a disaster supply kit, emergency planning for people with disabilities, how to locate and evacuate to a shelter and even a contingency plant for family pets.
The publication can be ordered or downloaded by visiting www.fema.gov/areyouready/.
For information, contact Tucker's office at (706) 868-3303 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.columbiacountyga.gov.
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