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Georgia tornado news update: How to stay safe if a tornado hits Georgia

The National Weather Service map for April 29, 2014 shows that Georgians are not out of the woods yet when it comes to possible severe weather conditions, including thunderstorms, hail, possible flash flooding conditions and even the chance of a tornado in the late afternoon or evening hours.

Emergency crews are sent to deal with downed trees that disrupted power to Middle Georgia residents in the wake of severe weather this week.
Emergency crews are sent to deal with downed trees that disrupted power to Middle Georgia residents in the wake of severe weather this week.Macon Telegraph.com

But other than a report of a possible tornado in Troup County, the AJC reports that no active warnings are in place in metro Atlanta area at this time.

Meteorologist David Chandley of WSBTV wants viewers to stay safe and prepared despite the current lull in the storms that have brought tornadoes back into the Southeastern states area, so he is offering up these tips for you.

You've got to find a way to get the warnings," most importantly, Chandley says, referring to purchasing a weather radio, which does nothing but provide users with weather updates and severe weather and tornado warnings all day and night. "You can program it to your county. These things are life savers,and they are very, very inexpensive," Chandley said.

Amazon lists their NOAA weather band FM/AM radio with a flashlight for as little as $12.97 and a weather radio at Walmart can be purchased for as little as $17.95. Both companies have more expensive options with more features as well.

The benefit of owning such a radio outweighs the benefits of keeping tuned into your local radio or television station all day and night, because the weather radio can alert you right away even when you are asleep, as you sit it on your bedside table when you go to bed at night, leaving it turned on. You also don't have to worry about losing your connection to the news and the outside world if the power goes off in a storm, as often happens.

And since a lot of storms turn into tornadoes in the evening hours or late in the night, you don't have to worry about keeping awake in order to watch your television for updates, if it is even still on.The weather radio will alert you instead. And during the day, you might not have time to keep checking your computer news site or watching the television as you go about your job. But the weather radio will alert you the minute severe weather is headed to your county.

Another tip from the WSBTV meteorologist is that you might want to think about downloading the WSB weather app to your mobile phone, tablet or computer, if you don't like the idea of purchasing a weather radio, or if you can't afford one right now.

This is the time right now that you need to gather with your family and have a little pow wow (about what you will do in the event of a tornado)," the weather expert says, because "if we were to have one of these warnings go off, where would we go?" needs to be asked now, not at the time of the natural disaster.

You've got to have a plan, he said. And the plan should include going to the basement, if you have one, in the event of a tornado. If you don't have a basement, the lowest floor of the home (in an interior room of your house), is where you want to go, protecting you from the breaking glass and force that will be directed on the exterior walls of your home during such an event. But don't want until a tornado warning is issued to try and devise a game plan, as it will likely be too late then. Make your family emergency disaster plans now.

Another important tip involves those who are on the road in the midst of severe weather like thunderstorms, which can cause roads to become flooded. Chandley says "more people are killed in floods, in their cars, than any other way." And if drivers would just adopt his motto "turn around, don't drown" then their lives could be potentially saved.

So if you approach a roadway, especially at night, that appears to have water over it, then don't keep driving towards it; turn around and go another way.

Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for Georgia in order to be able to allocate the use of state resources now, in order to prepare for any possible severe weather problems in advance of dangerous weather conditions. By declaring a state of emergency in advance of one, he also enables the state to be ready to respond more quickly in the event Georgia is hit by a tornado or flooding and other severe weather problems.

But as of early Tuesday, the Macon Telegraph was reporting that scattered power outages seems to be their biggest problem right now, as the National Weather Service had removed Middle Georgia from their revised Tornado Watch listing. Other counties and areas in the state remain on a Tornado Watch until 11 a.m. Tuesday.