OUR VIEW: Did you sleep through Tuesday’s tornado warning?

Published 12:36 pm Wednesday, August 18, 2021

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If you were awoken by tornado sirens Tuesday morning, then we’re sure you had the same feeling the rest of us did.

First, “what is that noise?”

Second, “That’s the tornado siren! Are we in danger?”

And third (for some of us): “Do I need to wake the kids?”

For most of us Troup County — outside of the far northeast portion and Hogansville — the answer to those questions were “no.” Thank goodness.

And there was no significant storm damage.

But Tropical Storm Fred did produce a confirmed tornado, according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. Thankfully, most tornadoes that spawn via tropical systems are short-lived and are not very strong, so there were no injuries reported, and we think everyone made it through without any significant damage.

However, we think the overnight — unexpected — tornado was a good reminder of the importance of weather radios and severe storm notifications on your phone. We know that no one in our office would’ve known if not for our phones and the sirens, which aren’t always audible indoors (and aren’t really meant to be.)

A split second can be the difference between life and death in those situations, especially if a tornado is right on top of you.

If you were woken up by the siren — or your phone — we encourage you to think about how you reacted. What would you do differently? Did you get the information fast enough?

And some of you, we’re guessing, didn’t hear the sirens and may not know that there was a tornado warning Tuesday. If you’re in that boat, we encourage you to sign up for emergency alerts right now.

Troup County has emergency alerts available on its website: http://www.troupcountyga.org/E911/Notifications.

Obviously, we intend to report on severe weather and get alerts out as fast as we can as well. None of us are trained in meteorology, but if there’s a warning, we try to post it the second it’s announced, and probably were the first to publish something Tuesday. However, that does no good if you’re not looking at our website or Facebook page.

There are plenty of great phone apps (we aren’t going to endorse one) that provide weather updates as well.

Make sure you have a way to get that information, just in case another storm strikes overnight. You never know when or where severe weather might strike.