Spencer Hawkins: Opening of severe weather season, be prepared with weather kit

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – “We have the best emergency management team in the state.” That’s what the Director of Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency Spencer Hawkins says about his team.

Hawkins says that the crews were getting roads cleared moments after the wind subsided. He says that Macon-Bibb had really minor damage. There were neither injuries nor fatalities.

“We partnered with Georgia Power. We must continue to make sure that people are ready. That means telling people that this is the opening of severe weather season,” Hawkins said.

Ten tornado warnings were issued on 3 March 2019. Hawkins says that this is rare.

“I’ve been doing this 20 years and that is unheard of. Now it’s time for people to get ready. They need to sign up for MBC alert. They need to get their emergency weather kits together. All of this is available on our website. Macon-bibb.us,” Hawkins said.  

He says that people should sign up for as many weather apps as they can.  The MBC alert app monitors severe weather systems and anyone can use it.

The MBC app system does not require a smartphone.

“My job is to make sure that everyone in the county has the information. Especially the sweet elderly grandmother that lives down the street that does not have a cell phone. She only has her landline. This system allows everyone to sign up for an alert,” Hawkins said.  

He says that users will get a human voice that lets them know what’s going on. Furthermore, the system allows the EMA to reach out and get information so that they can access the damage after the storm hits.

Hawkins says it is important for people to have a weather kit.  

Include the following items in the kit:
  • A flashlight
  • Weather radio
  • Extra batteries
  • A cell phone charger
  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Non-perishable foods (granola bars, peanut butter crackers, NOTE: Stay away from salty foods, i.e. beef jerky as it only makes you want more water).

Hawkins says if people want to volunteer, they can go to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army.  He says that when people go into disaster management, there’s a job for everyone.

Click here to go to the Macon-Bibb website.