OUR VIEW: Midnight tornado reinforces need for way to get overnight weather alerts

Published 12:15 pm Friday, April 2, 2021

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Yesterday, we wrote in this space about how the LaGrange community has rallied around our neighbors in Newnan, who are still dealing with the fallout from a EF-4 tornado that struck the area last week.

We wanted to revisit it again today, but with the focus of our own backyards.

The tornado that impacted Heard County and Coweta County could’ve just as easily been in Troup County. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

We’ve heard from people who live on the Heard County line that were receiving emergency alerts as the storm crossed from Alabama into Georgia.

That’s a good thing, as it means they have alerts turned on on their cell phone, and that they are paying attention.

The tornado came through at midnight, which is probably the worst time for a storm of that magnitude to hit. Many people were sleeping when it came through, getting ready for work the next day. If they didn’t have a way to get warnings overnight, it’s likely they had no idea what was going on. Some might’ve even slept through the storm.

We always write about the importance of planning, just in case something like this happens in Troup County. But we think it’s even easier to write it and right it forcefully when we can look at what happened 30 miles down the road. You plan ahead when you go to the grocery store by making a list. You plan ahead when you go on vacation by picking where you’re going and what you want to do. (Some might even pack ahead of time.) So, why wouldn’t you plan for emergencies?

It takes only a few minutes to sit down with your family and have a discussion on what you’ll do if a tornado impacts our area. Decide the safest area in your home (away from windows) and talk about what you’ll do. Do you have a way to get warnings overnight? If not, figure it out.

These are important discussions. We hope you’ll have this talk with your family today.