As we mark the one-year anniversary of the north Georgia 500-year floods that caused $500 million worth of damage to some 20,000 homes, businesses and other buildings in and claimed 10 lives, it’s important for us to reflect on the lessons learned in the wake of this natural disaster.
One fundamental takeaway is that while tragedy may sometimes bring out the worst in people, it most frequently brings out the best in people, and the goodness in their community. This was demonstrated time and time again as the water rose, and we saw neighbors helping their neighbors as well as their family members, lending comfort and support while salvaging whatever items they could from of flooded homes.
This doesn’t surprise us. In fact, our most recent survey shows that 80 percent of Georgians are “very willing” to help elderly or disabled family members prepare for emergencies. However, before you can get your loved ones prepared, you have to prepare yourself. First, get your family ready for disaster. Then, talk to friends and neighbors to encourage them to get ready, too.
In this spirit, Ready Georgia, along with the American Red Cross, is encouraging Georgians to Get a Kit, and Give a Kit, an effort that is fundamentally based on thinking about those people you care for most and those in need. As we prepare during National Preparedness Month, let us consider how fortunate we are to be able to prepare ourselves. But let’s also extend that to the wider community so everyone can protect themselves, respond to disaster, and remain intact when the unexpected occurs.
During your preparation process this month, take a minute to watch Ready Georgia’s most recent video to learn how to protect your community from an act of terrorism.