Columbia County ready for tornado drill Friday

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Heidi Collins had a close call with severe weather.

Collins said, "I was almost in a tornado. I got home just minutes before it happened."

Now she knows how important it is to be prepared for anything--and Friday, she can practice a drill.

Pam Tucker, Columbia County Emergency & Operations Division director said, "Tomorrow is the Georgia statewide tornado drill and it will start at about 9A.M. If you can, you need to practice your tornado safety plan."

Tucker said, during the real deal, try to get into a sound structure. If that's not possible, find a ditch or a ravine and lay low. Don't stay in your car.

Tucker said, "You don't want to be in a vehicle because a tornado will pick it up and could drop it a half mile down the road."

Tucker also said, don't make the mistake of thinking it can't happen outside tornado alley. Columbia County has seen four tornadoes since 2003.

Tucker said, "Every year, we take this week to talk about severe weather because we're getting into severe weather season of March, April and May. April is the highest number of tornadoes we see in this area."

Collins knows firsthand, it can happen anytime, anywhere.

Collins said, "I was coming home, but I was thinking about my kids. What would have happened if I wasn't around to help save them?"

Experts said, if you're at home when a tornado hits, get to the center most part of the house. If you're in a mobile home, leave immediately and find a sound structure.