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Each year, we at GEMA and the Ready Georgia campaign survey Georgia residents to find out whether you are prepared for emergencies. We’ve done this survey for five years now, and the trend is clear — Georgians are getting ready.

This year, almost three quarters of our state’s residents are somewhat or fully prepared for emergencies. That is a 14 percent increase since we started this campaign in 2008. In real numbers, that means that more than a million Georgians are more ready now than they were before the launch of the Ready Georgia campaign.

That’s a major achievement, accomplished by responsible families that heeded the word spread by dedicated professionals in the media, local emergency management agencies and GEMA staff. I am grateful for all that they have done to spread the emergency preparedness message, and encouraged to see that more Georgians are heeding that call.

But there is still work to be done. According to this year’s study:

  • Only 38 percent of Georgians reported that they are ready to survive on their own for at least 72 hours following a large-scale emergency.
  • Only 40 percent of parents know the emergency protocol at their children’s schools.
  • Only 53 percent of households with a family member who has functional needs have emergency resources available for that person.

No matter how much progress we make as a state, preparedness is still up to each individual or family. If you aren’t one of the Georgians who has made a Ready kit, created a family communications plan and informed yourself about the potential disasters that could affect your area, you aren’t ready. Take time to get ready today.

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