This year, the statewide tornado drill falls a week after a real tornado devastated nearby Bartow and Gordon counties.
“We just had a reminder that this type of storm can happen around here,” said Tim Herrington, Floyd County Emergency Management Agency deputy director.
The drill will begin today at 9 a.m., the time of the weekly scheduled National Weather Service emergency alert system test, and will last 30 minutes.
Participants are encouraged to stay throughout the drill in the safest place in their house, which Herrington said is the lowest level and as far away from glass and potential flying objects as possible.
“For a lot of people without a basement, the bathroom is the safest place,” Herrington added.
According to Herrington, mobile homes should be avoided during a tornado warning. “Folks who live in mobile homes really need to find a secondary location,” he said. “I know no one really wants to leave their house, but it’s not a safe place to be.”
The drill will begin following a notification sent to NOAA radios.
Residents without a radio may pick one up today for free from the County EMA. The give-away will begin today and will also be Thursday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. on the second floor of the Floyd County Emergency Operation Center, 409 E. 12th St.
Only Floyd County residents are eligible to receive the radios, and there is a one-per-household limit. Recipients must show a valid ID with a Floyd County address.
There will be about 900 available, so supplies are limited, Herrington said.
On Saturday, 300 additional radios that vibrate and activate a strobe light will be distributed to hearing-impaired residents of the county from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cave Spring Fire Station, 123 Fincher St. A valid ID must be shown to receive one of these radios, and they are also limited to one per household.
The radios were purchased with federal grant money.
The Rome News-Tribune will be spotlighting emergency preparedness tips each day in conjunction with Severe Weather Awareness Week. Here’s what’s coming:
Sunday: Severe Weather Awareness Week
Monday: Family preparedness
Tuesday: Thunderstorm safety
Today: Tornado drill
Thursday: Lightning safety
Friday: Flood safety