Note to editors: Photos of the event, as well as PSAs by some of the participants are available for your use. To access the photos, go to: http://tinyurl.com/6dm3pbe. To access the PSAs, please visit: /medialibrary/media_records/4668.
ATLANTA – A group of Georgia youngsters are still talking about the day NFL football players, including one Superbowl champion, came to the YMCA in Norcross, GA, to share stories, autograph T-shirts and discuss tornadoes.
“Our campers didn’t just leave with their T-shirts autographed,” said Debbie Sutton, executive director, Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA where the event was held. “They left knowing more about being prepared for weather emergencies after spending an afternoon with the NFL players.”
The football players and one football wife joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) in June to provide the youths, aged 7 to 11, with information on surviving future disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
“Have you ever been in a bad storm?” Willie Blackwell, retired linebacker, asked the group. The collective answer was a resounding “Yes!” Even in their young lives, his audience had experienced severe weather.
Ahmad Carroll, former Green Bay Packer and now a cornerback for the Calgary Stampeders, involved the young people in games to put the concept of preparedness into their perspective. His final piece of advice was to look at the buildings after a tornado has hit. “They’re gone. The bottom stays, but the top blows away. Remember those buildings and always try to get as low as possible if a tornado is coming.”
“Go home and pack a ready kit today. Include a change of clothes, three days of food, a flashlight and a first-aid kit,” advised Charles Grant, formerly defensive end for Chicago Bears and Superbowl XLIV Champion New Orleans Saints.
One young man raised his hand for a question. “What would you do if you were in an open field and a tornado was coming?” he asked.
Grant considered for a mome...