Houston County EMA receives “Storm Ready” certification

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – With summer temperatures come severe weather, and Houston County’s Emergency Management Agency wants to keep the community proactive rather than reactive. 

As storm clouds roll in and out of middle Georgia, Chief Jimmy Williams is always waiting and watching. 

"We’ve had a couple of lightning strikes. We’ve had about three lighting strikes so far this year," Williams said. .

The EMA director, and fire chief, says the county’s new "Storm Ready" certification will help keep residents safe. 

He says he and his staff have been notifying the public of severe weather for the last several years, but receiving a stamp of approval from the National Weather Service increases their reach.

"In 2009, our tax payers paid a half mill tax for a one time fee to implement a warning system," he said. 

"It’s a fabulous idea," one resident said.

"I would definitely use it. Anything for safety, especially as thunderstorms move in so quickly and rapidly in our area. It’s a good thing," she continued. 

Chief Williams says alerts can be sent from the 911 center to people’s cell phones through calls, texts, or emails. 

"You may be in Florida on vacation, and a storm is affecting your house here in Houston County, it will let you know that," Williams said. 

According to the National Weather Service website, Houston County is now one of 82 counties in the state certified as "Storm Ready."

Williams says he’ll do anything to make sure his community stays safe when severe weather comes rolling around.

"The more ways we can receive the warnings to come into us, the more input the National Weather Service or the local media that we can get, and then the more tools that we have to disseminate that information here on a local level, it’s just a win-win situation," Williams said. 

Houston County has their "Storm Ready" certification until the Fall of 2017. 

If you’d like to sign up for severe storm notifications click here

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.