With the National Weather Service issuing a Winter Storm Watch for Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Nathan Deal today put emergency response agencies on alert and began significant preparations.
"I have directed the State Patrol, Department of Transportation and Department of Natural Resources to begin moving assets toward areas where the snow and ice are expected, and I have issued a "warning order' for the National Guard -- an advance notice to personnel of the possibility of a "call up' for a state mission," said Deal. "At the moment, local meteorologists are advising us to expect a "major storm' that could bring significant levels of snow and ice. We have passed along this latest weather information to school superintendents and local emergency management agencies."
Monday morning, Deal will convene the Operations Command, which will consist of the directors of GEMA, DOT, State Patrol, and Natural Resources, as well the commissioners for the Department of Public Health and the Department of Community Health and representatives from Georgia Power and the EMCs.
"We've included health officials and power companies in our preparations because heavy downfalls of ice can knock out power supply," Deal said. "I want to make sure we're reaching out to health care facilities so they can have backup plans in place."
Deal will activate the State Operations Center at 3 p.m. Monday and it will operate until the emergency response ends.
"I encourage all Georgians in affected areas to make the necessary preparations tonight and tomorrow -- including plans to be off the road by early evening so that DOT crews can begin pretreating the roads," Deal said. "From early afternoon on, please stay off the roads if at all possible so that we limit traffic and make way for workers to treat the highways. We also ask that tractor trailers to seek alternative routes outside the Perimeter. I further ask that everyone closely monitor the storm coverage for any changes in the predictions."