Get Your Family Prepared with a Communications Plan and NOAA Weather Radio
GEMA’s Ready Georgia campaign offers tips to help residents prepare during Severe Weather Awareness Week
(ATLANTA) – If disaster struck today, would you be able to find or contact other family members?
As Severe Weather Awareness Week kicks off Feb. 4, Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Georgia campaign and the National Weather Service are asking families statewide to take some simple steps toward emergency preparedness. To coincide with Family Preparedness Day on Monday, Georgians are encouraged to purchase a NOAA weather radio and identify an emergency family meeting place.
"Family Preparedness Day is the perfect time for every family in Georgia to plan and rehearse where they would meet in the case of disaster,” said Charley English, director of GEMA/Homeland Security. “You might not be together when disaster strikes so pick two places to meet: a spot right outside your home and a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home. Choose an out-of-state friend as a ‘check-in contact" for everyone to call if the family gets separated and discuss what you would do if advised to evacuate.”
Despite recent severe weather events, a 2012 survey revealed 71 percent of respondents have not yet arranged a family meeting place or reconnection plan. In addition, less than 30 percent own NOAA weather radios. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts National Weather Service watches, warnings, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. In Georgia, approximately 98 percent of Georgia's population lives within range of NOAA Weather Radio coverage.
“NOAA Weather Radios are as crucial to family safety as smoke detectors or alarm systems," said English. “These devices alert you immediately with severe weather or emergency information, when minutes or even seconds count, day or night. Georgia’s NOAA Weather Radio network provides the most saturated coverage of any state in the U.S., making it possible for every community to take advantage of the information broadcasted 24 hours a day."
To help families prepare, Ready Georgia offers the tools needed to make an emergency supply kit, develop a communications plan and stay informed about potential threats. Visitors to the campaign’s website, www.ready.ga.gov, can create an online profile to receive a tailored plan for the entire family that includes the specific amount of supplies to put in their household Ready kits. You can also find local emergency contact information and learn about Georgia-specific disasters. Children’s games and activities can be found on the ReadyKids page, and households with elderly or disabled family members and pets will also find specific information on preparing for severe weather.
Don’t let Family Preparedness Day pass without taking the time to ensure your loved ones are ready for the unexpected. For more information on how to prepare for severe weather, visit www.ready.ga.gov or contact your local EMA. For preparedness on the go, download Ready Georgia’s free mobile app.# # #
About Ready Georgia
Ready Georgia is a statewide campaign designed to educate and empower Georgians to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, pandemic outbreaks, potential terrorist attacks and other large-scale emergencies. The campaign is a project of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and provides a local dimension to Ready America, a broader national campaign. Ready Georgia aims to prepare citizens for maintaining self-sufficiency for at least 72 hours following an emergency, and uses an interactive Web site, online community toolkit, broadcast and print advertising and public awareness media messaging to reach its audiences. Ready Georgia is also on Facebook and YouTube.