Photo by Jeylin White
Clayton County Fire Chief Jeff Hood presented a weather radio to Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Edmond Heatley, at Monday night’s board of education meeting. He said his department will donate more than 60 weather radios to be used in the schools.
In recognition of “Severe Weather Awareness Week,” Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services donated more than 60 weather radios to the Clayton County School System.
Fire Chief Jeff Hood presented the radios to School Superintendent Edmond Heatley, and the board of education members, during Monday night’s school board meeting.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to use [the weather radios], but in our schools,” said Chief Hood.
Battalion Chief Jacque Feilke, who is also the fire agency’s spokesperson, said it was the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) who donated an estimated 100 radios to Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services ,to support GEMA’s Ready Georgia, statewide emergency-preparedness campaign.
“[A weather radio] is one of the best things to have to alert you on severe weather,” said Feilke. “We, here at the Fire Department, rely on the weather radios for severe-weather alerts and updates.”
Feilke recalled that last year had its share of dangerous, severe-weather incidents, starting with a snow-and-ice storm that shut down much of the county for nearly a week, in January. In April, Georgia was hit with 15 tornadoes, she added, killing 15 people and injuring 143 others.
She noted that the most powerful twister to hit Georgia last year was an EF-4 storm that struck Catoosa County, killing eight people, and injuring 30.
“If a school [in Clayton County] gets hit by a [tornado], that will be devastating,” she said. “Which is why we chose to give the radios to the schools.”
Feilke said the radios will be delivered to the school system’s administrative building later this week, and will be dispersed to all schools in the county, except those in Forest Park. The schools in Forest Park, she said, have their own emergency-response services.
The observance of “Severe Weather Awareness Week” this year, is Feb. 6-11.
For each day this week, there is a specific goal Clayton County Emergency Management, GEMA, and the National Weather are encouraging families to focus on, to learn emergency preparedness. They include the following:
• Monday, Feb. 6, was Family Preparedness/ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio day.
• Tuesday Feb. 7, is thunderstorm safety day.
• Wednesday, Feb. 8, is tornado safety day.
• Thursday, Feb. 9 , is lightning safety say.
• Friday, Feb. 10, is flooding focus day.
“Family Preparedness Day [which could be every day] is a time for every family to plan, and rehearse, what they should do during the first 72 hours of any severe, weather-related event, or disaster,” said Chief Hood.
To get more information and tips on how to be prepared for weather disasters, Feilke said, visit www.ready.ga.gov. She said the web site provides detailed information on Georgia-specific, emergency-preparedness measures, and also allows users to create personal profiles to receive a customized family check list, and communication plans.