"If something happens, all of Bartow County comes together," said EMA director Johnny Payne.
With the department preparing to circulate information regarding Severe Weather Awareness Week Feb. 7-11, Payne said the EMA works not just one week in February but year-round to educate the public.
"Lots of people think severe weather is tornados and lightning, but you have snowstorms, ice storms and floods. It's really a year-round battle," he said.
Preparation for any inclement weather begins with gathering an emergency kit. The suggested list of items is available on Ready Georgia's website at www.ready.ga.gov.
"We recommend everyone have one," Payne said, stressing the importance of the emergency kit.
And while most people purchase milk and bread, Payne cautions those staples are not enough. "People think it will last them three or four days, but you need something else, like peanut butter, canned meat and ready-to-eat meals."
With the EMA's motto being "First 72 Hours On You," residents are reminded three days is the average time it will take to receive state and federal help if needed.
Storm radios also are important to have on hand. They range in price from $20 to $50 and are sold at various retail stores.
"They display what type of watch is out -- a yellow light means there is a watch in the area and red means a warning has been spotted on the radar, such as a thunderstorm or something else," Payne said of the role of storm radios.
Addressing the snowstorm which hit the state earlier this month, he said while in the past snowstorms have wreaked havoc, this one was different.
"One thing that helped us is that the storm came on Sunday and everyone had a few days of notification, and they prepared," Payne said.
Payne said residents staying in was of great help, including allowing road departments to do their job and not be affected by stranded cars along roadways.
During Severe Weather Awareness Week, information can be found on news stations and websites. On Wednesday, a siren will be heard throughout the county in conjunction with tornado safety. For more information on Severe Weather Awareness Week or any severe weather questions or concerns, visit www.gema.ga.gov.
Also during Severe Weather Awareness Week, residents will have a chance to win a ready kit and weather radio. Starting Feb. 7, visit Ready Georgia's Facebook page and click on the "contests" tab for more information.
The following days will be recognized during Severe Weather Awareness Week:
* Monday, Feb. 7 - Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day
* Tuesday, Feb. 8 - Thunderstorm Safety
* Wednesday, Feb. 9 - Tornado Safety and Statewide Tornado Drill
* Thursday, Feb. 10 - Lightning Safety
* Friday, Feb. 11 - Flood Safety (alternate tornado drill date)