ATLANTA – This week, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) is offering a series of day-long workshops focusing on evaluating proposed areas or buildings for community safe rooms when severe weather hits.
The courses, for construction industry managers, architects and engineers, are being offered at several colleges and universities throughout Georgia.
The first workshop was held Monday at the University of Georgia in Athens. Additional workshops will be held at Dalton State College in Dalton, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, and Gordon College in Barnesville.
The workshops offer guidelines on determining a building’s secure area for when disasters strike, said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Being ready for the worst case scenario is an important component of disaster preparedness,” Szczech said. “Having a safe room selected in advance can save lives when the winds pick up and the warning sirens go off.”
The 2011 tornado season began in March and the hurricane season kicked off June 1. With that in mind, GEMA’s State Coordinating Officer Charley English emphasized the importance of taking steps to be ready to head for cover if necessary.
“These workshops can equip students with the knowledge on how a well-designed safe room can help in surviving a disaster,” said English.
For workshop location details and to register, visit https://training.gema.ga.gov/TRS. For more information, call the State Hazard Mitigation Program Office at (404) 635-7522.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.