A tornado watch for 67 counties across north and northwestern Georgia has been issued by the National Weather Service at Peachtree City until 5 a.m. Saturday, including Rockdale and Newton.
Most of the metro Atlanta counties are under a tornado watch.
Scattered severe thunderstorms were predicted earlier in the evening in the region, with large hail and damaging winds.
Preparation tips from ready.gov
Before a tornado:
To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
Look for the following danger signs:
Dark, often greenish sky
A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
Keep Outdoor Gear from Becoming Windborne Missiles
High velocity winds from thunderstorms and tornadoes can turn patio furniture, grills and tree branches into destructive missiles. If the area immediately surrounding your house contains trees, outbuildings, trash cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind, your house will more likely be damaged during a tornado or windstorm. The wind can topple trees onto your home and can pick up smaller objects and drive them through windows and glass doors.
All storage sheds and other outbuildings should be securely anchored, either to a permanent foundation or with straps and ground anchors. The straps and ground anchors used for manufactured homes can be used for the anchoring systems for outbuildings, such as garden sheds, which are not placed on a permanent foundation. Outdoor furniture and barbecue grills can be secured by bolting them to decks or patios or by attaching them to ground anchors with cables or chains.
Even trash cans can be secured with cables or chains attached to ground anchors or to wood posts firmly embedded in the ground.
High winds from tornadoes can damage garage doors or even blow them in. If wind enters a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage to the home. A garage door can be reinforced by adding braces across the back of the door and by strengthening the glider wheel tracks. If the existing door is old or damaged, it should be replaced with a stronger door and tracks. These modifications should be done only by a trained garage-door systems technician. If your home is under construction, look into purchasing a garage door built to withstand high winds.
If you are in a structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building), then go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
During a tornado:
If you're in a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Do not open windows.
If you are in a a vehicle, trailer, or mobile home, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
If you are outside with no shelter, then lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
After a tornado:
Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Get medical assistance immediately. If someone has stopped breathing, begin CPR if you are trained to do so. Stop a bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound. Have any puncture wound evaluated by a physician. If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.
GENERAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
Here are some safety precautions that could help you avoid injury after a tornado:
Continue to monitor your battery-powered radio or television for emergency information.
Be careful when entering any structure that has been damaged.
Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.
Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.
Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.
Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood or other flammable items. Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.
Never use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or camper - or even outside near an open window, door or vent. Carbon monoxide (CO) - an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe it - from these sources can build up in your home, garage or camper and poison the people and animals inside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.
Hang up displaced telephone receivers that may have been knocked off by the tornado, but stay off the telephone, except to report an emergency.
Cooperate fully with public safety officials.
Respond to requests for volunteer assistance by police, fire fighters, emergency management and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. Your presence could hamper relief efforts and you could endanger yourself.
INSPECTING THE DAMAGE
After a tornado, be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in your home. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.
In general, if you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
If it is dark when you are inspecting your home, use a flashlight rather than a candle or torch to avoid the risk of fire or explosion in a damaged home.
If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker if you have not done so already.
If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open all windows and leave the house immediately. Notify the gas company, the police or fire departments, or State Fire Marshal's office and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke or do anything that could cause a spark. Do not return to your house until you are told it is safe to do so.
SAFETY DURING CLEAN UP
Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves.
Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.
Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids and other