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Wednesday
Feb092011

Severe Weather Safety & Preparedness Tips From the Folks at GEMA

Winter storms having been causing havoc and chaos in many areas throughout the country, and another storm is currently about to hit again along with a major cold front. Many people have been caught off guard by these storms and without adequate supplies.

In light of this, I received an email from the Georgia Emergency Management Association (GEMA) asking me to pass along some information in conjunction with the Ready Georgia campaign and the Governor's Office to remind people about preparedness and severe weather.

Additionally, Georgia is in the midst of their Severe Weather Awareness Week, and all residents are being asked to take steps to be prepared.

During Severe Weather Awareness Week, Ready Georgia is also giving residents the chance to win their very own Ready kit and NOAA Weather Radio, a $100 value.  Starting Feb. 7, visit Ready Georgia’s Facebook page and click on the “Contests” tab. Then, enter the contest by simply submitting a severe weather photo and a step you have taken to prepare.

For more information on preparing for severe weather, contact your local EMA or visit www.ready.ga.gov or www.gema.ga.gov.

Today, the state of Georgia held a tornado drill, tomorrow they will focus on Lightening safety and on Friday it will be about Flood safety.

To the entire GEMA team, the Georgia Police, Fire, and EMS personnel, stay warm and stay safe. Thank you for what you do every day.

I am sharing with you the complete release below that I was asked to share with you:

SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK A TIME TO PREPARE FOR REMAINDER OF YEAR
GEMA’s Ready Georgia campaign helps residents prepare for a variety of natural disasters

(ATLANTA)  Georgia has already experienced its first taste of severe weather in 2011 – a snowstorm that affected 70 percent of the state.  With that in our collective memory, the governor and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA)/Homeland Security encourage all Georgians to participate in this year’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, Feb. 7-11, by turning to the state’s Ready Georgia campaign.

“Take time now to prepare for the extreme weather the rest of the year can bring,” said Charley English, director of GEMA/Homeland Security. “Tornadoes, storms and floods can devastate our communities, but devastation can be minimized if we’re prepared.”

The week’s activities begin with Family Preparedness Day on Feb. 7, when all Georgia households are encouraged to program their NOAA Weather Radios and create Ready Profiles at www.ready.ga.gov to get a customized checklist of emergency supplies and a tailored family communications plan.

On Wednesday, when tornado safety is emphasized, a statewide tornado drill will be issued by the National Weather Service.  Severe Weather Awareness Week’s specific observations are:

Monday, Feb. 7 – Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day
Tuesday, Feb. 8 – Thunderstorm Safety
Wednesday, Feb. 9 – Tornado Safety and Statewide Tornado Drill (issued by NWS)
Thursday, Feb. 10 – Lightning Safety
Friday, Feb. 11 – Flood Safety (alternate tornado drill date)

"By preparing for one emergency, you are actually arming yourself against many types of disasters," continued English. “Our goal is for all residents to be their own first responders and to be able to help others in the event of a natural or manmade disaster.”

During severe weather, emergency workers might need at least 72 hours to open roadways and restore utilities.  When Georgians are prepared to survive independently, the potential for tragic outcomes is greatly reduced.  GEMA offers this information from its Ready Georgia campaign:

Prepare for Severe Weather:
Make a Ready kit of emergency supplies for your home, car and office.  Most of the recommended items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life.
- Water: at least three gallons per person for drinking and sanitation
- Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Manual can opener if kit contains canned food
- Battery-powered or hand crank NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Face mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Local maps
- Specific items for children, family members’ special needs or pets
- Cash or travelers checks
- Important documents in a waterproof container
- Blankets and warm clothes

Plan for Severe Weather:
- Be sure every family member knows important phone numbers for schools, offices, home and emergency services.
- Identify an out-of town contact. It might be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call in town, so an out-of-town contact is in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- Identify a meeting place near your home where family members can meet if separated during severe weather.
- Identify a meeting place away from your home where family members can meet if your neighborhood in not accessible.
- Map out evacuation routes in case you are ordered to evacuate, and always keep at least a fourth of a tank of gas in your car.
- Know your insurance policies and whether your home is in a flood zone.

Stay Informed about Severe Weather:
- Find out what type of disasters could occur and how you should respond.
- Learn your community's warning signals and evacuation plans.
- Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify severe weather, such as advisories, watches and warnings.
- Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, television and the Internet to stay informed of severe weather conditions.

During Severe Weather Awareness Week, Ready Georgia is also giving residents the chance to win their very own Ready kit and NOAA Weather Radio, a $100 value.  Starting Feb. 7, visit Ready Georgia’s Facebook page and click on the “Contests” tab. Then, enter the contest by simply submitting a severe weather photo and a step you have taken to prepare.

For more information on preparing for severe weather, contact your local EMA or visit www.ready.ga.gov or www.gema.ga.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 (GEMA)/Homeland Security and provides a local dimension to Ready America, a broader national campaign.  Ready Georgia aims to prepare residents for maintaining self-sufficiency for the 72 hours following an emergency and uses an interactive website, online community toolkit, advertising and public awareness media messaging to reach its audiences.  For more information visit ready.ga.gov or find Ready Georgia at Facebook.com/ReadyGA and YouTube.com/ReadyGAfromGEMA.

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Reader Comments (2)

This post contains important information people should take very seriously. Being prepared in the event of disaster could save your live. We all take for granted the luxuries we are fortunate enough to have until suddenly in an instant, their all gone .
April 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter2012-Survival-Tools
I agree, these are dangerous times that businesses should be prepared in. Professional companies like Immediate Response Group can provide a strategy both before and after disasters strike! I hope organizations are aware risk that's involved in their lives and assets.
May 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames Anderson

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