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The 2024 hurricane season begins June 1, and the City of Thomasville encourages residents to assess their homes and property now to be prepared as the season approaches. Last year saw a record number of 20 named storms and seven hurricanes, with three intensifying to major hurricanes. The 2023 season was ranked fourth for the most-named storms in a year since 1950.

“Another active hurricane season is anticipated this year by weather experts,” said Tara Pearson, Public Information Officer. “In order to prepare for what could potentially be a very wet and rainy hurricane season, the City of Thomasville is taking the time now to prepare for any impacts to our community.”

The City’s Storm and Natural Disaster Team was created to plan, organize, coordinate, and direct day-to-day operations related to natural disasters and the threats they bring to the community. Proactively, this team meets before, during, and after hurricane season to assess and execute measures to keep Thomasville safe in the event major outages, damages, and other hazards exist. “Our Storm and Natural Disaster Team met recently to talk through how we as an organization and as a community prepare for what could be a very active 2024 season,” Pearson said. “We reflect on the lessons we learned from previous storms with an eye towards ways we can improve our procedures to better prepare for these types of events.”

As the City of Thomasville begins preplanning for the 2024 hurricane season, Pearson said that residents are also encouraged to begin their own preplanning activities. One way to do that is to begin shopping now for essential items that can be in high demand during storm season.

“It is essential to have items such as battery-powered radios, flashlights with extra batteries, and a first aid kit, so now is a good time to stock up on these items,” she said. “We also recommend making sure you have copies of personal documents, such as insurance documents, identification records and other important documents safely stored so that you can quickly access them in an emergency.”

Early preparation is important, especially when it comes to preparing personal property. “When a storm is imminent, we can sometimes have limited time to prepare our home and property,” she said. “Taking the time now before a storm is pending to look for excess debris on your property can save you time later. Look at low-hanging limbs or tree limbs that are unhealthy and consider making adjustments now before these things cause you problems during a storm.” Pearson said that when a storm is pending, residents will need to reassess their property, making sure to remove debris and yard waste. “When it rains, debris and other pollutants are released into storm drains that may cause localized flooding or pollution to our drinking water.”

In addition to home preparations for storms, it is important to know how to report outages. Conveniently, customers may 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 Pearson. “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 229-227-5499.”

Staying informed through reliable news outlets is also important as storms approach. “The National Weather Service Tallahassee (NWS) is the primary source for official weather watches and warnings in our local viewing area. Local news and radio stations are also a good source of up-to-date information,” said Pearson.

For more information about the Tville TextAlert system or any of the City of Thomasville’s services, call 229-227-7001 or visit thomasville.org.