As the death toll across the South continues to rise, our thoughts are with everyone who is grieving the loss of family members, friends, homes and businesses. The chain of storms that drove across Georgia and several other states has leveled destruction on a scale that we haven’t seen in quite some time. These tornadoes and thunderstorms passed through in just a matter of minutes or hours, but they have made a permanent mark on the lives of those in their paths.
News reports have credited the emergency measures taken by many schools, businesses and individuals with saving lives. Much of the area hit by the storms had been under a tornado watch for most of the day, prompting early closures and extra precautions. We are grateful for those spared lives, and are heartened by the tempering effect of storm warnings and preparedness.
Oddly enough, I spent the morning with students at Milford Elementary School in Cobb County, practicing how to protect ourselves during an earthquake. Representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and I participated in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut with a renewed sense of why drills like this are so important. Practicing what to do when emergency strikes helps everyone react calmly and confidently in the face of the actual event.
As you keep the storm victims in your thoughts over the coming days and weeks, I hope you will also think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family. Preparedness is truly our best defense in the face of disaster.