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Winter Weather Preparedness Week 2015
About the Author
Jim Butterworth was appointed Director of Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security by Governor Nathan Deal in January 2015. In this position, he serves as the Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor and is responsible for coordinating the state’s preparedness, response and recovery from natural disasters and acts of terrorism. Prior to his appointment as GEMA/HS Director, Mr. Butterworth served 4 years as the Adjutant General of Georgia overseeing the Georgia Department of Defense.
This winter we’re facing a strong El Niño and its influence on Georgia’s weather means an outlook of colder temperatures and wetter months - increasing the severity of the snow, black ice, freezing rain and other winter hazards we see each year. As the director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/HS), I know how important preparing for this season is.
We’re working with our state and local partners to prepare for severe winter weather with additional resources and planning, including the Georgia Department of Transportation’s brining program and multi-agency traffic strike teams to keep interstates clear of stranded vehicles. Because we know that winter weather in Georgia can change rapidly, I’m also asking our residents to take a few moments to review their own emergency preparedness now — during Winter Weather Preparedness Week — instead of waiting until a winter storm strikes.
This year, Governor Nathan Deal proclaimed the week of Nov. 30-Dec. 4 as Winter Weather Preparedness Week. During this week, GEMA/HS encourages all Georgians to prepare for winter weather by replenishing necessary supplies, making a plan and learning about the different types of winter weather. Throughout the week, the Ready Georgia campaign will focus on specific aspects of preparedness:
- Day 1 (Monday, Nov. 30) – Winter Weather in Georgia
- Day 2 (Tuesday, Dec. 1) – Winter Weather Terminology
- Day 3 (Wednesday, Dec. 2) – How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
- Day 4 (Thursday, Dec. 3) – What to Do During a Winter Storm
- Day 5 (Friday, Dec. 4) – Winter Weather Outlook
There are a lot of preparation steps to consider, but GEMA/HS has resources to make it easier. You can start by creating a Ready profile. This tool — available on the Ready Georgia website and via our mobile app — helps you create a family communications plan and also generates a customized list of items to keep in your Ready kit. In addition, we suggest that you prepare a vehicle ready kit, adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
Throughout the week, GEMA/HS will be sharing additional winter weather resources, recommendations and information through the Ready Georgia campaign website and social media channels. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
By preparing now, we can all be ready to address the reality of winter in Georgia.