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.