CORDELE, Ga. -- With the start of the 2007 hurricane season only a month away, forecasters say this one could be nearly as destructive as the 2005 season, the worst on record. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) are reminding Georgians to begin their emergency preparations now.
“First responders may not be dispatched during dangerous storm conditions, and public utilities, such as water, electricity and gas may be turned off at the request of local officials,” said Charley English, director of GEMA. “If individuals and families do their part by planning ahead, they will be better prepared before, during and after a hurricane.”
The FEMA publication “Are You Ready?” offers free assistance in planning and preparing for hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
The 200-page guide to disaster preparedness can be used as a reference or as a step-by-step manual on how to learn more about local emergency plans, how to identify local hazards, and how to develop an emergency communication plan and build a disaster supplies kit.
Other topics include evacuating safely, making use of emergency public shelters and protecting people with disabilities.
“I urge Georgia residents to take the time to learn what they can do to prepare for the next one,” English said. “Now’s the time to take personal responsibility.”
“As we watch our neighboring states continue their recovery from several previous storms, we need to be mindful of the lessons we’ve learned,” said, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch, who is in charge of disaster recovery operations resulting from the March 1-2 tornadoes.
To download “Are You Ready?” in English or Spanish, log on to www.fema.gov/areyouready/. For large quantities, organizations may reprint the publication. To order a single hard copy, call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-480-2520.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.