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Today May be the Day Before a Disaster. Get Prepared.
Georgia is a beautiful state, but it is also prone to a wide variety of natural disasters. According to the National Weather Service, weather-related events killed at least 180 people in Georgia and injured countless others from 1995-2012.
Unfortunately, many Georgians don’t prepare themselves for emergencies until after a disaster strikes. Making a Ready kit with emergency supplies, including a NOAA weather radio, and creating a family communications plan can make all the difference in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
To highlight the importance of being prepared, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA) and Governor Nathan Deal are promoting National Preparedness Month through the Ready Georgia campaign. National Preparedness Month was founded after 9/11 to increase awareness about being prepared across the country.
The best way to start preparing is to do your research and create a Ready profile. This profile will take you through a quick, step-by-step process to help you find out what you need for a Ready kit and an emergency plan.
Here are a few more ways to get involved during National Preparedness Month:
- Student Art, Essay and Video Contest: Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders can enter the Art, Essay and Video Contest to learn more about being prepared while also competing for prizes. During this contest, which runs through Oct. 18, students can submit entries that creatively reflect the theme “Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared” and illustrate their personal experiences or knowledge of disaster preparedness. All winners will be featured on the Ready Georgia website, Flickr page and Facebook page.
- Facebook Caption Contest: At the Ready Georgia Facebook page you can participate in the “Ready, Pet…Caption!” contest, where you can craft catchy captions to accompany various pet memes and compete for prizes.
- Verizon Wireless Digital Coupon: Keeping your communication devices charged and ready is important during emergencies. To help, Verizon Wireless is offering a digital coupon for 25% off any accessory that can be used during emergencies, such as a phone charger or battery. All you have to do is text “ReadyGeorgia” to 22699 during the month of September to access your coupon. Verizon also installed in-store displays with emergency tips and resources.
You can find more information about National Preparedness events going on around the state at Ready Georgia’s community calendar. For more information about getting prepared, visit www.ready.ga.gov or download Ready Georgia’s free mobile app.
About the Author
Charley English has worked with GEMA/Homeland Security since 1996 and became its Director in Jan. 2011. During his career, Director English was a member of the G8 Summit security planning team and has coordinated the state’s response to 9 presidentially declared disasters and numerous states of emergency declared by the Governor.