As the H1N1 pandemic flu and Atlantic hurricane season’s peak continue to threaten residents across the state, Governor Sonny Perdue is proclaiming Georgia’s support of National Preparedness Month in September. Ready Georgia, the state’s emergency preparedness campaign from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), is asking all residents to create a Ready kit, develop a household communications plan and stay informed about potential local emergencies.
“An overwhelming majority – almost 80 percent – of our state’s residents admit they are not prepared to face a large-scale disaster,” said Charley English, director of GEMA and the Office of Homeland Security. “By acting on Ready Georgia’s simple message of ‘prepare, plan and stay informed,’ individuals, families, businesses and communities have the power to become their own first responders during emergency situations.”
National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready America campaign, is a nationwide effort to increase awareness and encourage action for emergency preparedness. Nearly 2,000 private, public and nonprofit organizations across the country participate as National Preparedness Month Coalition Members and are creating a culture of emergency preparedness by hosting events and initiatives during September.
“Here in Georgia, Community Emergency Response Teams, local emergency management agencies and other organizations are participating in National Preparedness Month alongside GEMA and Ready Georgia,” continued English. “Individuals and families can turn to our Ready Georgia site to create an interactive, customizable communications plan and supply list.”
Visitors to www.ready.ga.gov simply enter their information and receive a tailored plan for the entire family that includes the specific amount of supplies to put in their household Ready kits. The site also offers local emergency contact information, preparedness testimonials from prominent Georgians and an online toolkit to help individuals and organizations localize Ready Georgia’s message.
To empower Georgia’s youth, Ready Georgia is partnering with The Home Depot stores across the state for the second consecutive year to bring the message of preparedness to thousands of families during The Home Depot’s monthly Kids Workshop on Sept. 5. Georgia’s fifth-graders also have the chance to take part in National Preparedness Month by entering Ready Georgia’s “Get Ready Georgia” art and essay contest, encouraging students to draw upon their personal experiences of how their families have already prepared for an emergency or how they plan to prepare.
For more information on Ready Georgia and ways to take part in National Preparedness Month, visit www.ready.ga.gov, and for information on preparing for H1N1 Influenza in Georgia, visit www.health.state.ga.us/h1n1flu.