Survey: Disaster Experience Brings Preparedness into Focus

The cliché that “there’s no substitute for experience” often proves true. Whether it’s at work or in life, sometimes there’s just no way to know how to handle something until you’ve been through it.

In the past year, Georgians have been through a lot. According to a new survey conducted by Ready Georgia, twice as many residents had recent experiences with large-scale emergencies than in the previous year, ranging from winter storms to tornadoes to floods.

However, the survey also revealed that people who went through those emergencies took actions to get more prepared for the next time. Most of them stocked emergency supplies, and many devised an emergency plan.

In other words, actually experiencing an emergency shifted many Georgians’ frame of reference and left many realizing they may not be as prepared as they thought they were. It makes sense. I may not realize how useful a backup phone charger or a battery-powered radio is until I’m stuck at home without power. If that outage lasts for a few days, I will realize how important it is to stock up on non-perishable food.

What about how to connect with family members if mobile phone networks are busy? Knowing in advance that text messages are more likely to get through can save valuable battery life instead of trying phone call after phone call. And if you can’t get in touch with someone at all, having a family meeting place arranged in advance is crucial.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize the importance of these simple actions until it’s too late. It’s the result of another cliché: “I never thought it would happen to me.” Here’s a sample of the percentages of Georgians who have stocked different types of recommended supplies:


Whether or not you’ve experienced an emergency recently, I’d encourage you to get prepared. Think about where you would go if you had to evacuate due to a hurricane. Think about how you would get in touch with your loved ones if you were separated. Think about what you would need if you had to make it three days without electricity.

Ready Georgia has tools to help make it easy. Create a Ready profile to get a customized supplies list and plan. Download our newly improved mobile app to access that info at any time and get emergency alerts. We also have information specific to pets, older residents and those with functional needs.