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September Is National Preparedness Month
I’ve seen many disasters over the course of my 16-year career with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. Lives can be forever changed in the blink of an eye. That’s one reason I feel so strongly about emergency preparedness. With just a few quick steps of preparation and planning, Georgia families can greatly improve their ability to survive a wide variety of emergencies.
When a disaster threatens Georgia, I go to work. So it’s important that my family is prepared. Knowing they’re safe enables me to do my job more effectively. We keep our NOAA weather radio plugged in at all times so my family will know when they need to take shelter. We have designated a safe room — an interior closet on the lowest level of our home — and we keep a Ready kit with a 3-day supply of food and water (including my favorite canned boiled peanuts), along with a flashlight and other supplies. We also have a portable battery-powered television/radio combo to keep us informed and entertained.
Georgia disasters run the gamut. Every season brings a new threat: Snow and ice in winter, tornadoes in spring, wildfires in summer and hurricanes in the fall. If you and your family are prepared, you will know what to do in any emergency. Even better, you will then be able to help your extended family or a neighbor who may lack the resources or need assistance preparing.
During National Preparedness Month, I encourage all Georgians to take advantage of the resources available through GEMA’s Ready Georgia campaign. Our site and mobile app help citizens create customized Ready kit checklists and family communications plans. They have everything you need to prepare, plan and stay informed.
About the Author
GEMA/Homeland Security Director Charley English was sworn in by Governor Nathan Deal as GEMA/Homeland Security Director in Jan. 2011. He has served in the agency since 1996. Director English oversees all state preparations and deployments regarding emergency management and homeland security efforts.
You can follow Director English's blog postings regularly by visiting Get Ready.