Ready Georgia’s PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety set for Nov. 5
Fall drill designed to help schools reinforce tornado preparedness
(ATLANTA) – In order to raise awareness for severe weather that may occur in the fall and winter, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security’s (GEMA) Ready Georgia campaign today announced the first statewide PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety will take place Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014.
“It’s important to be smart, take part, and prepare for disasters,” said Charley English, director of GEMA/Homeland Security. “Although there is always a statewide tornado drill as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week in February, this additional drill reinforces what actions schools should take if a tornado comes their way.”
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), tornadoes are the No. 1 weather-related killer in Georgia. They have proven to be some of nature’s most violent storms, appearing sometimes with little warning and remaining invisible until dust and debris pick up or a funnel cloud appears. They can also generate wind speeds that can exceed 250 mph.
In recent years, Georgia has been hit by deadly tornadoes resulting in the loss of property and human life. According to NWS, Bartow, Cobb, Floyd, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon and Paulding counties experienced tornadoes during a severe weather outbreak earlier this month. In January 2013 a tornado that struck Bartow and Gordon counties tore across 22 miles and at one point swelled to 900 yards in width with an estimated peak wind speed of 160 mph.
“Building a resilient state requires the involvement of the whole community, and that includes our schools,” said English. “Practice drills like this make everyone more confident about their ability to stay safe in the face of an emergency. That translates into a faster, calmer response that can save lives. It’s hard to overstate the importance of being ready, especially when it comes to protecting our children.”
Preparation is important for all Georgia residents, and the Ready Georgia website provides valuable information needed to create a disaster supply kit, develop a tailored communications plan and stay informed about potential threats. 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.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA) is the lead state agency for coordination of emergency and disaster response activities. For more information on GEMA, visit www.gema.ga.gov. To learn how to prepare for disaster and create a custom kit and plan, visit www.ready.ga.gov or download the free Ready Georgia app. For specific risks in your community, contact your local emergency management agency. Follow GEMA at www.twitter.com/GeorgiaEMA, www.facebook.com/gema.ohs and www.youtube.com/ReadyGAfromGEMA.
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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 (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.