June 1st marks the start of the 2021 hurricane season, and the City of Thomasville reminds residents about the importance of hurricane preparedness as the season approaches. Last season saw a record number of 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes, and six major hurricanes. The 2020 season was the fifth consecutive year of above-average storm activity.
“Weather analysts are predicting that 2021 will be another active season for the Atlantic Ocean, with total named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes forecasted to be above average,” said Sherri Cain, Public Outreach Manager. “It is recommended that citizens finalize their family preparedness plans before the busy storm season begins. Take the time now to gather batteries, flashlights, a good supply of your medications, first aid kit, and enough food and water for each person in your family to last at least three days.”
Preparing your home and property for the arrival of severe weather is also important. “Take time now before a storm is imminent to look for low hanging limbs or branches that may need to be removed from trees on your property,” said Cain. “You do not want to prune trees and shrubs when a storm is near, so take the time now to assess your property and remove anything that may come down in a storm.”
In addition to home preparations for storms, it is important to know how to report outages. “The City of Thomasville uses an outage management system that assists with monitoring and identifying outages in the electric system,” said Cain. “The benefit of this system is that a customer’s telephone number is recognized when calling into the system to report an outage. For this reason, it is important that we have a correct telephone number on file for our customers.”
Customers may also use Tville TextAlert to report outages. “Tville TextAlert allows customers to report electric outages and receive updates on outages through text messages on their mobile phone or device,” said Cain. “It allows City of Thomasville staff to more quickly pinpoint the locations where outages are occurring. Customers can easily sign up for Tville TextAlert by texting TVILLE to 85700.”
Staying informed through reliable news outlets is also important as storms approach. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the primary source for official weather watches and warnings. Local news and radio stations are also a good source of up-to-date information,” said Cain. “It is important to have your vehicle fully fueled, secure important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies, have cash on hand, and your cell phone and other devices fully charged.”
Cain also recommends taking the time to familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a hurricane. “It is important to understand the terminology used by the National Weather Service,” said Cain. “Especially the difference between Tropical Storms, Hurricane Watches, and Hurricane Warnings. Take the time now to make use of all the educational tools available in order to protect your family and home.”
For more information about hurricane preparedness, Tville TextAlert, or any of the City of Thomasville’s services, call 229-227-7001 or visit thomasville.org.