Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Hurricanes and tropical storms are dangerous and can cause major damage due to storm surges, wind damage, rip currents and flooding. They can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. However, hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. The impact of rain, wind, water- even tornadoes- could happen far inland from where a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall.

Before the Storm

  • Pay attention to weather reports and hurricane warnings or watches. Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a hurricane.
  • If you have a vehicle, fill the gas tank in case you have to evacuate. Know your local evacuation routes.
  • Keep the freezer and refrigerator doors closed as much as possible. This will help food last longer in the event of a power outage.
  • Charge cell phones and other devices that need to be charged.
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows where your safe place is in the event of a tornado.
    • This place should be the lowest level of your home or a small room in the middle of the house away from windows, like a closet, hall, or bathroom.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your home. Do not forget the needs of pets.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car.
  • Property insurance does not typically cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage before a disaster strikes.
  • Contact older friends, neighbors, and family members to make sure they are informed and safe.
  • Consider using a regular file backup service to preserve your digital photos and other important files.
  • Sign up for Thomasville TextAlert to report electric outages and receive updates through text messages on your mobile phone or device.
  • Sign up for Thomasville Community Connect, a free, secure, and easy to use platform that allows you to share critical information about your household that will aid first responders and emergency response personnel when responding to your residence.
  • Register for the Thomas County E-911 Emergency Notification System (“Reverse 911”) that allows the general public to receive dangerous weather condition alerts issued by Thomas County 911 on a mobile phone and/or email.
  • Strengthen your home by de-cluttering drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, and consider installing hurricane shutters.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed to make them more wind-resistant. Please do not trim trees and shrubs when a storm is imminent. Debris such as dirt, grass clippings, and other yard waste can block catch basins, pipes, and other stormwater conveyance systems and result in the flooding of streets and homes, and cause other damage.

During the Storm

  • Stay informed and listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Report electric outages to Thomasville TextAlert or contact our Utilities Response Center at (229) 227-5499.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy during a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • If you are told to evacuate by local officials, do so immediately.
  • Stay indoors during the weather event and stay away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors; secure and brace external doors.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level of the building. If flooding occurs, be prepared to take shelter on a floor above the flooding.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn around- don’t drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.

After the Storm

  • Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information about what is happening and what you should do. However, you should listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Steer clear of areas with debris and downed trees. Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of electric shock or electrocution. NEVER TOUCH A DOWNED POWER LINE. Report downed or damaged lines to the Utilities Response Center at (229) 227-5499.
  • Drive cautiously around crews working and obey all road and work signs. This keeps our crews safe and helps them continue their work to restore your power as quickly as possible.
  • Stay out of flood waters, if possible. The water may be contaminated or electrically charged. However, should you find yourself trapped in your vehicle in rising water get out immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Be alert for tornadoes and flooding. If you see a funnel cloud or if local authorities issue a tornado warning, take shelter underground or in an interior room away from windows. If waters are rising quickly or local authorities issue a flood or flash flood warning, seek higher ground.
  • If the need arises, only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows.
    • Before starting your generator, please be sure to read the owner’s manual.
    • Keep generators away from doors and windows.
    • Place generator downwind and point the engine exhaust away from any nearby people or pets.
    • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you experience symptoms, get to fresh air immediately.
  • If you have evacuated, do not return to your home until local authorities say it is safe to do so. Even after storms pass and floodwaters recede, roads may be weakened and could collapse. Buildings may be unstable, and drinking water may be contaminated. Use common sense and exercise caution.