Preparation Can Take the Bite Out of Winter Weather
GEMA’s Ready Georgia Campaign Offers Tips on Preparing for Snow, Ice and Other Winter Threats
(ATLANTA) – Snow and ice are a scenic part of winter, but in Georgia, severe winter weather has the potential to devastate communities and affect millions of people. In January and February 2014, several storms delivered thick layers of snow and ice that shut down transportation in many parts of the state for days.
In order to raise awareness and reinforce proper preparations prior to the occurrence of disastrous winter weather, Governor Nathan Deal has proclaimed Dec. 1-5 as Winter Weather Preparedness Week.
“Most people are in the habit of waiting until snow or ice is in the forecast before they make sure that they’ve stocked the supplies they need,” said Charley English, director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA). “It’s easy enough to make a last-minute run to the grocery store, but important preparedness steps like creating a Ready kit for your car or storing fuel for a back-up heat source takes more time. We are encouraging Georgia residents to take action this week so that they are better prepared for winter weather.”
GEMA’s Ready Georgia campaign offers these tips to make sure you are prepared for extreme conditions this winter:
- Prepare a Ready kit of emergency supplies for your home. Include with at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a NOAA Weather Radio, adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm, as well as additional supplies for the unique needs of your family, such as medication.
- Keep an extra Ready kit in the trunk of your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
- Create an emergency communications plan so family members will know who to contact if separated during a storm. Designate at least one out-of-town contact who all family members can call. Determine a way to let family and friends know you’re OK if the power goes out. Create a customized plan for your family using the Ready Georgia website or mobile app.
- Make sure you have a way to stay informed about winter weather. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio or other battery-operated radio to monitor changing winter weather conditions. Download the Ready Georgia mobile app, which includes geo-targeted severe weather and emergency alerts that will notify your phones before disasters strike.
- Winterize your vehicle and keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent your fuel line from freezing.
- Winterize your home by placing weather stripping around doors and windows. During cold weather, allow faucets to drip, and open cabinet doors to let heat reach uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
- Identify an alternate heat source, like a fireplace or wood-burning stove, and stock sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
Georgians looking for more information on how to prepare, plan and stay informed about severe winter weather can visit ready.ga.gov. For preparedness on the go, download the recently upgraded Ready Georgia mobile app.
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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.