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Disasters Don’t Wait. Neither Should You.

December 13, 2013

Disasters can strike Georgia at any time, and state and local emergency preparedness officials want Georgians to be ready for the worst-case scenario. During National Preparedness Month, Georgia’s 18 health districts are working to help residents make a plan to stay safe.

An important part of preparing for disasters is building an emergency preparedness kit. In the Southeast Health District 9-2, health officials are pointing out which items should be included in the kits, such as drinking water, copies of important documents, canned goods, first aid supplies, flashlights, radios and extra clothing. They’re also giving away a number of pre-assembled kits to the community through social media promotions.

The Southwest Health District is offering ideas on how to assemble personal kits without breaking the bank.

"We know that while there are excellent commercial personal emergency preparedness kits available on the market, the up-front cost of some of the kits may put them out of reach for some individuals,” said Julie Miller, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Southwest Health District. “So we are talking about how to put together your own kits in a way that won't cause financial strain."

The district also is promoting the importance of preparing to keep pets safe during times of disaster.

Residents throughout Georgia will have the chance to learn about emergency preparedness at a number of information fairs around the state this month. After a successful event in 2012, the Tift County Emergency Preparedness Fair hosted their second annual fair on Sept. 7.

Fannin County kicked off Preparedness Month events in the North Georgia Health District on Sept. 7 when emergency preparedness staff joined county community emergency response teams and community disaster preparedness groups as they hosted a Community Education Fair. Vendors offered emergency products, educational seminars, demonstrations and exhibits related to disaster preparedness. In addition to manning a booth at the event, emergency preparedness staff presented information on the Strategic National Stockpile.

On Sept. 29, the North Health District 2-0 and Hall County will host an Emergency Preparedness Fair from 1:00-4:00 p.m. The event will feature information from local law enforcement agencies, Georgia State Patrol, fire departments, emergency medical services, public health, the American Red Cross, the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, city and county government agencies, local businesses and others.

But Georgia residents don’t have to wait for Preparedness Month to get ready. They can prepare any time with the Ready Georgia website and mobile app. Visit www.ready.ga.gov to start making a plan.