The Henderson County Commissioners Court has proclaimed Feb. 22—28 Severe Weather Awareness Week for the county. Although the dates fall bit earlier this year, many in the county have already experienced the first volatile weather of the season.

Henderson County Judge David Holstein read the proclamation at Commissioners Court Tuesday.

“The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency join in asking all citizens to prepare for severe weather events and to educate themselves on safety strategies,” Holstein said.

Henderson County Emergency Management Joy Kimbrough said the public will be provided with information during the week on what to do in specific severe weather situations, including tornados, floods and lightening storms. Citizens are also invited to a Storm Spotter Class on March 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center on State Highway 31E in Athens, Kimbrough said.

NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Gary Woodall said families should plan for severe weather situations and not be caught off guard.

“The awareness week is a way to help people remember severe weather is just around the corner and it may be time to dust off those emergency plans and review them to make sure everyone in the family is familiar with what they are supposed to do in the event of a storm,” Woodall said.

The National Weather Service offers some tips for families that want to be prepared for violent weather events:

• Meet with family members. Review the information about community hazards and plans. Explain the dangers to children and work with them as a team to prepare. Be sure to include caregivers in planning efforts. Ask an out-of-town friend or relative to be your family’s out-of-town contact. Following a disaster, family members should call this person and tell them where they are.

• Choose a meeting place. In the event of an emergency, you may become separated from family members. Choose a place right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire. Choose a location outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Be sure everyone in your family knows the best escape routes out of your home as well as where the safe places are in your home for each type of disaster.

• Assemble a disaster supply kit. A disaster supply kit is a collection of basic items a family would probably need to stay safe and be more comfortable during and after a disaster.

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