GEMHSA Helps Students Prepare for Emergencies on National Day of Action
Seven schools around the state set to close out National Preparedness Month on Sept. 30 with Educational Session on Emergency Readiness
ATLANTA, GA – SEPT. 26, 2016 – On the final day of National Preparedness Month, representatives of the Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) will fan out across the state to take the emergency preparedness message to middle and high school students. GEMHSA school safety coordinators will give students at seven schools across Georgia valuable information about readiness on National PrepareAthon! Day, Sept. 30.
“A survey that we conducted earlier this year showed that only one in four Georgia residents is completely prepared for a disaster,” said Chuck Ray, director of field operations at GEMHSA. “That means there is a good chance that students who hear these presentations are living in a home that hasn’t stocked emergency supplies, developed a family emergency plan or learned life-saving steps to take during severe weather. We are going to equip these students with valuable knowledge and empower them to go home and help their parents begin to prepare for the possibility of a disaster.”
GEMHSA’s Ready Georgia campaign promotes three simple steps to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters: be informed about potential threats; make a plan for communicating and reconnecting with family members if you are separated during an emergency; and build a kit of emergency supplies that allows families to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours following a disaster. On Friday, Sept. 30, a GEMHSA school safety coordinator will teach students about these three steps and provide them with a take-home guide to help their families improve their emergency preparedness. Participating schools include:
- Rehoboth Road Middle School in Griffin
- Red Bud Middle School in Calhoun
- Cook High School in Adel
- Henderson Middle School in Jackson
- Jasper County Middle School in Monticello
- Apalachee High School in Winder
- Long County Middle School in Ludowici
A report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross indicates that households with schoolchildren who brought home preparedness materials were significantly more likely to report preparing than those who did not receive materials. In fact, children who brought home the preparedness materials were 75 percent more likely to have a household plan they had discussed as a family, and twice as likely to have participated in a home drill. Interestingly, households with children who did not bring home materials were less likely to complete several behaviors than households with no children at all. Children who have learned about emergency preparedness also experience less anxiety during actual emergencies as the knowledge of what to do during an emergency helps them to act with confidence and empowers them to become active participants in emergency efforts.
“We’re grateful to these schools for giving us the opportunity to present to their students,” said Ray. “We hope that the messages they hear will benefit them and their families for years to come.”
As part of the Office of the Governor, GEMHSA works with local, state and federal governments, in partnership with the private sector and faith-based community, to protect life and property against man-made and natural emergencies. In addition, GEMHSA employees are on 24-hour call statewide to assist local authorities when disaster strikes.
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 and Homeland Security Agency 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.