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www. ready. ga. gov
State of the Emergency • Georgia is at risk natural disasters: • Severe thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes and flooding • Tropical storms and hurricanes • Drought • Wildfires • Winter weather § Ice storms § Snow storms
State of the Emergency • Georgia also is at risk for man-made and biological disasters • Chemical spills • Terrorist attacks § In June 2009, a college student was convicted of conspiring to provide material support for terrorism and was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison • Pandemics
Why Prepare? • 2005 Hurricane Season • • 46 counties receive federal disaster declaration 50 died, 800 hospitalized September 2009 Flooding • Fifteen tornadoes including a rare EF-4, 9 th in GA history Fifteen fatalities More than 2, 000 homes damaged Presidential disaster declaration for 25 counties Summer 2011 Wildfires • • At least 20 tornadoes touch down, including a rare EF-4 tornado Four people killed Spring 2009 H 1 N 1 • • 11 tornadoes touch down, including first in history to strike downtown Atlanta Brought up to 7 inches of snow, freezing rain and a half inch of ice Travel disrupted for several days, inaugural activities scaled back April 2011 Tornadoes • • Spring 2009 flooding, tornadoes • • Ten fatalities Approximately 125 roads closed Douglas County residents without water for a week January 2011 Winter Storm • Worst drought in GA history; State of Emergency declared 2008 Mother’s Day tornadoes • • • March 2008 tornado outbreak • • Worst wildfires in GA history, over 500, 000 acres burned 2008 drought • • 21 tornadoes strike in worst outbreak in GA history Nine people died Sumter Regional Hospital destroyed April 2007 wildfires • • 18 tornadoes as a result of Katrina March 2007 tornado outbreak • • • 320, 000 acres burned over two months Fire Management Assistance Declaration issued for Racepond and Sweat Farm Again fires in Brantley, Charlton and Ware counties 250 people evacuated More than 1, 300 firefighters responded from around the U. S. and Canada 2014 Winter Storms
EMA is Here to Help • Every county has an EMA director • EMA's mission is to provide a comprehensive and aggressive all-hazards approach to mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery • The purpose is to protect life and property and to prevent and reduce the negative impact of natural and man-made events in Georgia
Government Can Help, But … Preparedness begins with you. You must be your own first responder.
Are You Ready? • What would you do if there was a gas main break in your neighborhood in the middle of the night and you had to evacuate immediately? Would you be ready? This happened in Smyrna in January 2010, when 125 residents were evacuated at 11: 30 p. m.
Are you Ready? • What would happen if a chemical fire ignited in your community at 4: 30 p. m. and you couldn’t leave home for three days. Could you survive?
Question • Do you know how long you should be prepared to survive on your own?
Answer • Three days
Goal of Ready Georgia • Educates and empowers Georgians to survive for at least 72 hours on their own in an emergency with three steps: • Be informed • Make a plan • Build a kit
Be Informed • Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live, how you will be notified, and the appropriate way to respond to them
Make a Plan • Your household may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood • Make sure everyone knows where to go if a tornado warning is issued (basement or interior room) • Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency • Identify an out-of-town contact • Have redundant ways to call the emergency contact (texting, solar/hand crank cell phone battery chargers, landline phone, car charger)
Build a Kit • Recommended items: • Water, one gallon of water person per day for at least three days • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food • Flashlight and extra batteries • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with extra batteries for both • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members and pets
Extra Items for Ready Kit • Extra pair of eyeglasses, batteries for hearing aid, etc. • Copies of your prescriptions • Emergency supply of prescription medications (if possible, if not, talk to your doctor) • Copies of important documents such as medical insurance and Medicare cards, family records, medical records, wills, deeds, social security number and tax records • If you undergo routine treatments at a clinic or hospital or if you receive home services, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans
Tips to Prepare on a Budget • Buy a few items each week • Use coupons and look for things on sale • Shop at a dollar discount store for flashlights, batteries, a whistle, etc. • Build your own first aid kit with items from a dollar discount store • Buying water by the gallon or refilling soda bottles is less expensive than buying individual bottles of water
Where to Keep Your Kit • Keep items in a plastic storage container, backpack or tote bag. • Store your kit in a designated area and have it ready to go if needed.
General Issues for Older Georgians/ People with Disabilities • Create a support network • Make sure they have an extra key to your home and know where you keep your medicine. Notify them when you go out of town. • Different disabilities may require specific preparation for an emergency. Support systems normally relied upon may be unavailable (e. g. , power outage). There are many questions that need to be considered when making an emergency plan for someone with a specific need.
Ability Self-Assessment • Sight issues: If you rely on sound clues to get around, will you be able to get yourself to safety if they are missing? (no electricity) • Hearing issues: Do emergency alarm systems have audible and visible features? (strobes) • Speech issues: How will you communicate if you do not have use of your usual communication device? (notes)
General Issues for Older Georgians/ People with Disabilities • How will you evacuate if an accessible vehicle is not available? Where would you go? • Does your utility company keep a list and map of the locations of power-dependent customers in case of an emergency? • Have you arranged to have benefits deposited electronically?
What Warning System Does Your County Use? • Some counties use outdoor warning sirens, others may use a telephone notification system • Each system has pros and cons • FEMA’s wireless emergency alerts – no registration required
Question • What is NOAA Weather radio?
Answer • NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts watches and warnings from the National Weather Service and information about man-made disasters, like an act of terrorism. It will wake you up in the middle of the night and give you critical minutes needed to take cover. You can buy them for about $30 at many stores.
Question • What is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the United States? www. Ready. GA. gov
Answer • Heat • Based on the 10 -year average from 2000 to 2009, excessive heat claims an average of 162 lives a year. • NEVER leave children or animals in a parked car. It can take as little as two minutes for temperatures to reach lethal levels, even in the spring and fall.
Question • How many inches of fast-moving water does it take to knock someone off their feet?
Answer Six inches! • Other flood facts … • One foot of water can float a full-size automobile. Two feet of fast-moving water can sweep it away. • Nearly half of all flashflood fatalities are vehiclerelated, so never drive through standing water in the road. Turn around and don’t drown!
Social Media ü Facebook facebook. com/Ready. GA ü Twitter twitter. com/Georgia. EMA ü You. Tube www. youtube. com/Ready. GAfrom. GEMA
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Time to Take Action • You are your family’s first line of defense • Everyone should have a plan; there’s no reason not to • Take action: Get a kit, make a plan, be informed • A solution: www. ready. ga. gov