Severe storm safety for when you sleep

If storms hit Southwest Georgia overnight while you're sleeping, how will you know of dangerous conditions?

Around 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, Dougherty County Emergency Management was on a webinar call with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Tallahassee about severe storms threatening Southwest Georgia.

"Each time there's a potential for severe weather in the northern part of Florida, southeastern part of Alabama and southwestern Georgia, the national weather service out of Tallahassee holds a webinar," says Jim Vaught with Dougherty County EMS.

According to the NWS, Monday's storms were expected to hit between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.

When overnight storms occur during typical sleeping hours, how do you know if you need to take cover in severe conditions?

"That's the prime seller for using of our Code Red system," says Vaught. "It'll activate your telephone and give you a message."

The city's Code Red alert system will send messages via text message, phone call and even email when warnings for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are initiated.

Vaught and FOX 31 Meteorologist Mike Morrison also say a NOAA weather radio should be a primary alert system in households.

"In the overnight as you sleep the NOAA weather radio is the best bet because it will turn on and alert you where other modes you have to actively watch," says Morrison.

He says you can find NOAA weather radios at various electronic shops, Wal-Mart or online.

"If you have a NOAA weather radio, its alarm will go off and you'll get a message of what's coming our way and possible evasive action to take," says Vaught.

With storms showing threats for large hail and high wind speeds, weather and emergency officials say pre-storm preparation is crucial.

"You've really got to prepare for severe weather. One thing you can do is keep your trees and bushes trimmed back so they don't go through your windows, pick up your lawn furniture, and reinforce your garage door because those a lot of times will cave under the strong winds," says Morrison.

"Look at lawn furniture, look at lanterns you may have, oriental hanging lanterns or hanging pots -- things like that that you can put down in a storm and put back up later so they don't become missiles during a high wind event," says Vaught.

To sign up for Code Red weather alerts, visit the following website and enter your information.