VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — It's been several years since a hurricane made its way to Lowndes County. That's not stopping leaders with emergency management from preparing in case a hurricane comes this season.
If a storm does come the Emergency Operations Center will activate with enough time for personnel to get there before the storm starts.
Meghan Barwick, Public Information Officer with Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, says one way citizens can prepare is by signing up for their emergency alert system CodeRED, and also following the EMA Lowndes social pages.
"It's free, it's for your cell phone or landline," said Barwick. "In the event we have severe weather, you'll with either get a phone call, a text, or both, so we encourage that."
Hurricanes aren't always coastal events, they do have the potential to move inland. Kelly Godsey, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service Tallahassee says flooding and strong winds from storms can extend to areas like Valdosta.
"If we get those hurricane force winds, which is what large portions of southwestern Georgia saw during hurricane Michael the destruction is much more intense," Godsey said. "Widespread power outages, widespread trees down, roof damages to structures."
Hurricane Michael is an example of why Godsey a hurricane kit is essential for areas that have even the smallest risk of seeing a storm, and also having plans in place for pets, evacuations, and essential documents.
"That preparedness kit should have at least three days of supplies for you and everyone in your family to get by until help is on the way," said Godsey.
A hurricane kit should reflect your specific needs. If you need help compiling one, there are multiple hurricane checklists that you can find to help you build one.
Hurricane season starts June 1, and ends November 30.