This week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week and the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) reminds motorists to begin preparations now as Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1.
“Georgia DOT is constantly evolving and reevaluating our procedures, plans and resources in preparation for when a hurricane makes landfall in Georgia,” said Emily Fish, Assistant State Maintenance Engineer. “We are prepared to do everything we can to keep Georgians safe before, during and after a storm.”
When a hurricane is forecasted to impact Georgia, the Georgia DOT begins coordination efforts with local, state and federal partners to strategize a response plan seven to 10 days ahead of the predicted storm. Approximately five days before a hurricane makes landfall, Georgia DOT is mobilizing hundreds of employees and readying equipment. The department and its staff begin 24/7 emergency operations three days out from the storm, and begin interstate contraflow operations two days before the storm hits all in an effort to keep Georgians safe during evacuations.
In the event of an evacuation, message boards will be setup to alert motorists about exit ramp closures/openings. Signs will alert the public to selected FM radio stations for weather and traffic updates. If necessary, Georgia DOT HEROs and CHAMPs will patrol the interstates to assist motorists and respond quickly to accidents and disabled vehicles.
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Tips on how motorists can get prepared before a hurricane:
- Plan Ahead!
- Know your evacuation and shelter routes (map)
- Keep your emergency supplies stocked
- Remain alert for tornado watches and warnings
- Practice and discuss your family’s emergency plans
- Be Prepared!
- Bottled water (3-day supply per person)
- Non-perishable food
- First Aid Kit and any prescriptions
- Battery-powered radio, extra batteries
- Flashlights, batteries
- Flares, booster cables, tire repair kit, fire extinguisher
- Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
- List of emergency phone numbers
- Check out the following resources for more information!
Georgia DOT encourages Georgians to plan ahead, be prepared and stay informed during this Hurricane Season. For more information and important links on hurricane preparedness from Georgia DOT, please visit https://www.dot.ga.gov/GDOT/Pages/Hurricane.aspx.
While the Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June to November, bad weather can happen any time of year, especially in Georgia. That’s why Georgia DOT prepares for hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and other weather extremes all year long. When Hurricane Michael devastated south, central and coastal Georgia in last October, GDOT was ready with strategically-staged special response teams to clear highways, open closed routes, inspect and open closed bridges, and repair signals. When Tropical Storm Irma brought floods of water and excessive evacuee traffic in October 2017, GDOT was ready before and after the storm. Prepare now for extreme weather. Know your risks, develop an evacuation plan, assemble your supplies. GDOT is prepared. Are you? Visit www.ready.ga.gov.