By Roy Acree – Deputy Fire Chief/EMA Director, City of Smyrna
Last September, the City of Smyrna enthusiastically embraced a new national preparedness campaign called America’s PrepareAthon! The initiative builds on FEMA’s successful Ready America efforts – or locally, GEMA’s Ready Georgia campaign – but encourages a more focused call to action for individuals and organizations. The goal: to get communities to take simple, specific actions to increase their preparedness for a potential local disaster.
To tie into spring weather awareness, Ready Smyrna is hosting another PrepareAthon! this weekend. Smyrna Emergency Management Agency personnel have taken steps to reach out to business owners, discussing shelter-in-place plans, and encouraging participation in a city-wide tornado drill scheduled this Friday at noon.
The city has also organized a Family Preparedness Expo on March 22nd, where citizens can learn specific disaster-related protective actions and community plans. Held at Smyrna Elementary School, this event will provide preparedness information in a seminar-type environment. Scheduled presenters include; Cobb-Douglas Public Health, Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, Tru-Prep, Safe America Foundation, Smyrna Police and Fire Departments and others.
Finally, in an effort to increase awareness of Ready Smyrna’s PrepareAthon! campaign, the city has launched a new website – www.readysmyrna.com – and will unveil a mobile app this Friday. The Ready Smyrna PrepareAthon app will have several functions. Primarily, it will notify users of severe weather in the area. Additionally, it will have preparedness information embedded in the app.
Having preparedness information is good, having a plan is better, but putting a plan into place is best. Quite simply, that’s the intent of Ready Smyrna’s PrepareAthon! – increasing our whole community’s level of disaster preparedness by encouraging action. And there’s more to come. The city is already planning the next PrepareAthon! event for September.
To learn more about America’s PrepareAthon!, visit FEMA.gov\prepareathon.