Tech Readies for Severe Weather Awareness Week

Severe Weather Week to be observed February 1 to 5

Georgia Tech Emergency Preparedness Director Andy Altizer is reminded of events two years ago, underscoring that severe weather can strike anywhere. On March 14, 2008, a tornado struck the downtown area, damaging the Atlanta Civic Center and the Peachtree Plaza Hotel.

Feb. 1 through Feb. 5 marks Severe Weather Awareness Week, when Georgia Tech Emergency Preparedness encourages the campus community to learn both response and preparedness procedures for all types of severe weather.

“The best thing to do to protect yourself is to have a plan of action before a threatening tornado or other weather event develops,” Altizer said. “Know what to do and where to go if there is a tornado warning.”

The Institute will conduct tests on both the Georgia Tech Emergency Notification System (GTENS) and the Siren Warning System at 11 a.m. on Feb. 4. Through all this preparation, Altizer also underscores the need for Tech community members to take the initiative in watching for ominous weather.

“Don’t depend on us to have enough time to alert you to sudden weather changes,” he said. “If there is a chance of severe weather, pay attention and be prepared to take action.”

Spring thunderstorms in the Atlanta area bring not only the threat of tornadoes, but also the threat of lightning. “It may sound corny, but remember the saying, ‘When thunder roars, go indoors,’ and follow that advice,” Altizer said.

Altizer also advises faculty, staff and students to have an emergency supply kit. Ready Georgia, established by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, offers resources to make a kit.

If a tornado were to strike campus, safety officials request everyone to stay indoors until the event passes. The situation will be updated through the Tech Police emergency notification Web page and the Inclement Weather Hotline (404-894-0500).