Severe Weather Procedures

Upon receiving notice of severe weather watches / warning or other hazards that may pose a threat to the City, the Emergency Manager Coordinator will notify the Fire Chief and the City manager, who notifies the other department heads, and will continue to monitor the threat providing updates in a timely manner. In addition, notification to residents of severe weather watches / warnings will be by television, radio and/or emergency alert sirens. You may also sign up to receive alerts and warnings directly by clicking to get CEMA Alerts and and to get Tybee CivicReady alerts


Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Severe thunderstorms are possible in the area - be alert.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: A severe thunderstorm has been reported or indicated by radar with possible hail, high winds, lighting and heavy rain - take necessary precautions immediately!

In the case of a thunderstorm warning please obey the following guidelines:
  • Postpone outdoor activities
  • Move to a sturdy enclosed building
  • Stay away from tall trees
  • Do not use any electrical appliances
  • Avoid open areas such as the beach, fields, high places, trees, gazebos, picnic areas, flag poles or communication towers.


Tornado Watch: Tornados are possible in the area. Remain alert for possible storms.
Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar - take necessary precautions immediately!

If you are inside during a tornado warning please obey the following guidelines:
  • Go to a pre-designated shelter area or the lowest building level.
  • 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.
  • Do not open windows.
If you are in a vehicle, trailer, or mobile home get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or storm shelter.

If you are outside with no shelter:
  • 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 flat, low 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.


Flood Watch: Flooding is possible, tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible, be prepared to move to higher ground: listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon: if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring: seek higher ground on foot immediately.

In the case of a flood please obey the following guidelines:
  • Do not walk through moving water.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas.


A hurricane is an intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.

Hurricane / Tropical Storm Watch: Hurricane / tropical storm condition are possible in the specified area usually within 48 hours. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Hurricane / Tropical Storm Warning: Hurricane / tropical storm condition are expected in the specified area usually within 36 hours.


Tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves, are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption or meteorite.

Advisory: An earthquake has occurred in the Atlantic basin, which might generate a tsunami.
Watch: A tsunami was or may have been generated, but it is at least two hours travel time to the area in Watch status.
Warning: A tsunami was, or may have been generated, which could cause damage: therefore, people in the warned area are strongly advised to seek higher ground immediately..

If there is a chance of a tsunami please turn on your radio to learn if there is a tsunami warning if an earthquake occurs and you are in a coastal area and move inland to higher ground immediately.