To Houston County
One of the most rapidly growing communities in middle Georgia, Houston County (pronounced “Howston”) has a population of more than 153,000, covers nearly 400 square miles and has three incorporated cities: Centerville, Perry and Warner Robins.
Residents enjoy direct access to Interstate 75, and Interstate 16 is less than 20 miles to the east. The county has a general aviation airport and Atlanta’s international airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, is easily accessed 100 miles to the north.
Houston County is home to nationally acclaimed public and private school systems as well as several colleges and universities. The county’s public school system has been recognized by both the Georgia Schools of Excellence and National Schools of Excellence programs.
Comprehensive health care is readily accessible to residents at local facilities that offer the latest in medical technology. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound, and mountains and seacoasts are a quick road trip away.
Last but not least, you’ll find ample Southern hospitality and charm in Houston County to welcome you to your new community.
Houston County, named in honor of Georgia Gov. John Houstoun, was created in 1821 through a treaty signed with the Creek Indians. Perry, the county seat and geographic center of the state of Georgia, was incorporated in 1824 as Houston County’s first official town.
Originally, Houston was just one of five huge counties but would lose land when Bibb, Crawford, DeKalb, Pike, Macon and Peach counties were formed later.
Many of the early settlers were land lottery winners. They came from the Georgia coast, Virginia and the Carolinas to take advantage of Houston County’s rich, sandy loam, and grew vegetables, wheat and potatoes. Exports of cotton via the Ocmulgee River supported plantations in the area, and by 1889, Houston was the largest peach-growing county in the U.S.
In the 1920s, Houston County went through spurts of development with the establishment of the Clinchfield Cement Plant that took advantage of rich local deposits of limestone and kaolin, and with a prosperous lumber industry clearing the abundant yellow pine.
The county’s largest city, Warner Robins, was incorporated in 1943 after Robins Air Force Base was established during World War II. Both the city and the base are named after Brig. Gen. Augustine Warner Robins.
The city of Centerville was incorporated in 1958.
Today, Robins AFB drives much of the economy in middle Georgia.
State of Georgia
Department of Public Safety
The Georgia Department of Public Safety oversees the day-to-day operations of the Georgia State Patrol, Capitol Police and the Motor Carrier Compliance Division. The Georgia State Patrol is responsible for enforcing traffic and criminal laws and investigating traffic crashes. Capitol Police are responsible for preventing and deterring criminal acts as well as enforcing traffic regulations throughout Capitol Hill. The Motor Carrier Compliance Division conducts safety inspections of commercial motor vehicles and inspects highway hazmat shipments.
Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency
The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency provides a comprehensive and aggressive all-hazards approach to homeland security initiatives, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and special events to protect life and property as well as prevent and reduce any effects of terrorism and natural disasters in Georgia. Visit the agency’s website for information on disaster preparedness.
Visit the Houston County Emergency Management Agency website for information on weather alerts, missing child alerts and the local emergency operations plan.
Weather and Climate
Houston County has a mild, warm climate that allows residents to enjoy Georgia’s many outdoor recreation options year-round. Each season is distinct, but temperatures and conditions can be enjoyable in all of them.
In summer, the average high temperature is typically in the 90s, with average lows of 60 to 70 degrees. Winter days see highs between 50 and 60 degrees with nighttime lows in the 30s. Houston County receives 45 to 50 inches of precipitation throughout the year, with March usually the rainiest month.
Every second counts in a natural disaster so planning and preparation can be lifesavers. Ready Georgia is a statewide campaign supported by the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency aimed at motivating Georgians to take action to prepare for a disaster. The agency coordinates the state’s disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts. The program’s website offers online access to tools that will help you plan and be prepared for a disaster, and its mobile app puts preparedness tools in the palm of your hand. Visit www.ready.ga.gov to take advantage of these valuable local resources.
Another great resource for natural disaster and severe weather information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/disasters. Here you can find information on how to prepare for various weather emergencies.
The following are considered significant hazards in Georgia.
Extreme Heat and Sun Exposure
Some exposure to sunlight is good, even healthy, but too much can be dangerous. Broad-spectrum ultraviolet radiation, listed as a known carcinogen by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, can cause blistering sunburns as well as long-term problems like skin cancer, cataracts and immune system suppression. Overexposure also causes wrinkling and premature aging of the skin.
Cloud cover reduces UV levels, but not completely. Depending on cloud cover thickness, you can still burn on a chilly, overcast day, so be prepared with sunglasses, sunscreen, long-sleeved garments, wide-brimmed hats and a parasol.
Because of the county’s high temperatures, it is important to take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Stay indoors when temperatures are extreme. Drink cool liquids often, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages as they dehydrate the body. Eat small, frequent meals and avoid foods high in protein, as they increase metabolic heat.
If you must venture outdoors, avoid going out during midday hours. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect sunlight. Avoid strenuous activities and keep hydrated. Cover all exposed skin with a high SPF sunscreen and follow general sun exposure precautions. Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; a fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; and fainting. If you experience symptoms of heat exhaustion, you should move to a cooler location. Lie down and loosen your clothing, then apply cool, wet cloths to your body. Sip water. If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention. You should seek out immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of heat stroke, such as a body temperature of more than 103 degrees; hot, red, dry or moist skin; a rapid and strong pulse; or unconsciousness. For more information, visit Ready Georgia’s website at http://ready.ga.gov/be-informed/extreme-heat.
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Even beyond coastal regions, flash floods, inland flooding and seasonal storms affect every region of the country, damaging homes and businesses. It is dangerous to underestimate the force and power of water.
During a flood watch or warning, gather your emergency supplies and stay tuned to local radio or TV stations for further weather information. If you are outdoors during a rainstorm, seek higher ground. Avoid walking through any floodwaters — even water 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. If you are driving, avoid flooded areas. The majority of deaths in floods occur when people drive through flooded areas. Roads concealed by water may not be intact. Water only a foot deep can displace a vehicle. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water can engulf a vehicle and sweep it away.
For more information about flood safety, visit http://ready.ga.gov/be-informed/floods-and-flash-floods/
As a coastal state, Georgia is at risk for hurricanes that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including high winds, heavy rain, flooding and storm surges (high tidal waves). Visit http://ready.ga.gov/be-informed/hurricanes for preparedness tips and help in creating a hurricane emergency plan.
While more likely at certain times of the year, thunderstorms can happen anytime. A severe thunderstorm can knock out power; bring high winds, lightning, flash floods and hail; and spin into a twister in seconds. Pay attention to storm warnings. Remember the rule: “When thunder roars, head indoors.” The National Weather Service recommends following the 30/30 rule: People should seek shelter if the “flash-to-bang” delay — the length of time in seconds from the sight of the lightning flash to the arrival of its subsequent thunder — is 30 seconds or less, and remain under cover for 30 minutes after the final thunderclap.
For more information, visit http://ready.ga.gov/be-informed/thunderstorms-and-lightning.
Tornadoes can develop quickly, with minimal warning, so it is important to have a plan in place before they occur. If a tornado watch is issued, weather conditions favor the formation of tornadoes, such as during a severe thunderstorm. A tornado warning is issued when a tornado funnel is sighted or indicated by weather radar. You should take shelter immediately during a tornado warning.
For more information on tornado preparedness, visit http://ready.ga.gov/be-informed/tornadoes.
The majority of wildfires are caused by humans. Causes include arson, recreational fires that get out of control, negligently discarded cigarettes and debris burning. Natural causes like lightning can also cause a wildfire.
If your home is in an area prone to wildfires, you can mitigate your risk. Have an evacuation plan and maintain a defensible area that is free of anything that will burn, such as wood piles, dried leaves, newspapers and other brush.
Even if your home is not in the vicinity of a wildfire, the smoke and ash produced by wildfires can create air quality issues for hundreds of miles. Pay attention to local air quality reports following a wildfire in your area.
Wildfires are unpredictable and impossible to forecast so preparation is especially important. Visit http://ready.ga.gov/be-informed/wildfires for information on wildfire preparedness.