GEMA/HS: NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON
Ready Georgia Campaign educates Georgians about associated storm hazards during Hurricane Preparedness Week
(ATLANTA) – Although Georgia hasn’t had a major hurricane reach landfall in recent years, Georgia’s coast remains at risk for hurricanes that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. With Hurricane Preparedness Week beginning May 24, now is ideal time for all Georgians to prepare and recognize the risks and potential dangers of hurricanes and what to do before, during and after a storm.
“Hurricanes don’t have to directly hit Georgia or even be classified as ‘major’ to cause significant damage. Hurricane Katrina didn’t make landfall here, but it did cause serious flooding across the western parts of the state and spawned 18 tornadoes in one day,” said Jim Butterworth, director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/HS). “During Hurricane Preparedness Week, I encourage every resident, both along the coast and farther inland, to prepare before the Atlantic Hurricane Season starts in June.”
Hurricane Preparedness Week kicks off with an educational overview about hurricanes on May 24, followed by a focus on associated storm hazards and preparation recommendations prior to and following a storm.
- Sunday, May 24: Hurricane Basics—Hurricanes feature strong winds that can reach speeds over 157 mph. They gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters. The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30.
- Monday, May 25: Storm Surge— Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds that can reach heights over 10 feet and flood nearly all of Georgia’s coastal counties. It is responsible for the greatest number of hurricane fatalities.
- Tuesday, May 26: Wind— Hurricanes can produce high winds that add to a storm’s destructive power. Hurricane-force winds can easily destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. Winds can stay above hurricane strength well inland. In addition to destructive winds, hurricanes also can spawn tornadoes.
- Wednesday, May 27: Inland Flooding— Inland flooding can be a major threat to communities hundreds of miles from Georgia’s coast, as some of the greatest rainfall amounts occur from storms that drift slowly or stall over an area.
- Thursday, May 28: Forecast Process— In forecasting, a hurricane watch means hurricane conditions with sustained winds greater than 73 mph are possible in your area within 48 hours. A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected in your area in 36 hours or less.
- Friday, May 29: Get a Plan!—Prepare for hurricanes whether you live on the coast or inland by developing a family disaster plan and evacuation route. Know how you will leave and where you will relocate if you are advised to evacuate. Download the Ready Georgia mobile app to view Atlantic evacuation routes. A customized communications plan and Ready kit checklist can be created at www.ready.ga.gov.
- Saturday, May 30: After the Storm—Local authorities may not be able to provide information about what is happening in your area. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or monitor the Internet for official news and instructions as they become available.
According to a Ready Georgia study, 73 percent of Georgians do not know the designated evacuation routes from their community, and 71 percent have not arranged a family meeting place or reconnection plan. To help residents prepare for hurricanes and other emergencies, the Ready Georgia campaign provides online tools to make a disaster supply kit, develop a tailored communications plan and stay informed about potential threats. Children’s games and activities can be found on the ReadyKids page, and households with pets or elderly or disabled family members will find specific information on preparing for severe weather.
Families can also download Ready Georgia’s free mobile app to learn how to prepare for emergencies, create family communications plans and more. The app turns an iPhone or Android smartphone into an invaluable preparedness tool by alerting users to severe weather in their areas, as well as providing a list of Ready kit supplies and even local shelter locations in the wake of a disaster.
For more information on how to prepare for severe weather visit, www.ready.ga.gov or download the Ready Georgia mobile app. To learn about specific risks in your area, contact your local emergency management agency.
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.