GET READY FOR FALL TORNADOES BY PARTICIPATING IN THE 2015 PREPAREATHON! FOR TORNADO SAFETY
Statewide drill set for Nov. 4 helps reinforce tornado preparedness
(ATLANTA) – Fall and winter bring cooler weather to the state of Georgia, but this time of year can also bring the possibility of severe weather. In order to raise preparedness throughout these seasons, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security’s (GEMA/HS) Ready Georgia campaign today announced the 2015 PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety will take place across the state on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
“It’s easy to forget that tornadoes are a year-round threat in Georgia,” said GEMA/HS Director Jim Butterworth. “Early November is an ideal time for individuals, families, schools and businesses to practice their tornado safety procedures and make sure they are prepared in advance of possible adverse weather.”
Ready Georgia’s PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety is part of America’s PrepareAthon!, a national, grassroots campaign designed to increase individual and community preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises throughout the year. It is based on extensive research that shows many Americans are unprepared for emergencies, despite many severe weather-related disasters that have devastated communities.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), there were 43 tornadoes recorded in the state of Georgia in 2014 and nearly half occurred in November. In total, last year’s tornadoes were responsible for $1.85 million in Georgia property damage.
“Tornadoes are some of the most violent storms we see in our state,” said Butterworth. “Unfortunately, they can appear with little warning, which is why it’s so important that we involve our communities and schools in practice drills like the November Prepareathon!. Participation in these drills is critical to building confidence and increasing the likelihood of an appropriate response during a real event.”
To participate in Ready Georgia’s PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety:
- Before Nov. 4, identify the place where your family/students/employees would take shelter during a tornado. Notify your family/students/employees that you will hold a tornado drill and provide information about the steps they should take during the drill.
- On Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 9 a.m., the National Weather Service (NWS) will issue its Required Weekly Test (RWT) on NOAA Weather Radio to simulate the tornado warning. At this time, family members/students/employees should move to the predetermined safe place. The NWS will not issue an actual tornado watch or warning, nor will radio and television stations activate the Emergency Alert System unless there is an actual severe weather event.
- Once everyone has adequately exercised sheltering procedures, the drill is concluded. Review the exercise with your family/school/business and identify any changes that need to be made to sheltering procedures.
Preparation is important for all Georgia residents, and the Ready Georgia website provides valuable information needed to be informed about potential threats, develop a tailored communications plan and create a disaster supply kit. For preparedness on the go, download Ready Georgia’s free mobile app, which turns your iPhone or Android smartphone into an invaluable preparedness tool by providing mobile access to emergency contact information, a list of Ready kit supplies and even local shelter locations in the wake of a disaster.
For more information about America’s PrepareAthon!, please visit www.ready.gov/prepare or email PrepareAthon@fema.dhs.gov.
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 (GEMA/HS) 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.