Make a Plan for Your Family on Day One of Severe Weather Preparedness Week
GEMA/Homeland Security’s Ready Georgia campaign offers tips to help residents plan and stay safe
(ATLANTA) – If disaster struck tomorrow, would you and your family know what to do? If you were separated, would you be able to get in touch?
As Severe Weather Preparedness Week kicks off Feb. 2, Governor Nathan Deal, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/HS) Ready Georgia campaign and the National Weather Service are asking families statewide to take one or two simple actions each day to get prepared.
Monday is Family Preparedness Day, and Georgians are encouraged to choose an out-of-state family member or friend to serve as a “check-in” contact to call if your family gets separated. It’s also the day to consider purchasing a NOAA weather radio, which is the most reliable way to stay informed about emergencies.
“Family Preparedness Day is the perfect time for every family in Georgia to make a plan for what they will do if a disaster hits,” said GEMA/HS Director Jim Butterworth. “When an emergency happens, you may be separated from family members at work or school, and communication could be difficult. Often it is easier to get a call or a text through to someone in a different town or city, so it’s important for your family to have someone in another state that can serve as a ‘check-in’ contact.”
Another important aspect of family preparedness is choosing a location where you can meet if you are separated during an emergency. You should select two places where everyone can meet up: one near your home and one outside of your neighborhood.
In addition to making a plan, Family Preparedness Day also focuses on the importance of NOAA Weather Radios, which broadcast National Weather Service watches, warnings, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. In Georgia, approximately 98 percent of the population lives within range of NOAA Weather Radio coverage. However, according to a 2014 survey conducted by GEMA/HS, only one quarter of Georgia residents report purchasing or programming a NOAA Weather Radio.
“NOAA Weather Radios are a crucial tool that everyone should own, much like a smoke alarm,” said Director Butterworth. “These devices alert you immediately when a severe weather alert is issued, and they’re the most reliable way to get up-to-the-minute information so you aren’t caught off guard.”
To help families prepare, Ready Georgia offers the tools needed to develop a family plan, stay informed and make an emergency supply kit. 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. They 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.
For more information on how to prepare for severe weather visit, www.ready.ga.gov or download Ready Georgia’s free mobile app. To learn about specific risks in your area, contact your local emergency management agency.
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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/Homeland Security 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 website, free mobile app, broadcast and print advertising and public awareness media messaging to reach its audiences. Ready Georgia is also on Facebook and YouTube.