In recent years, Georgia has seen its share of severe weather events. Just tornado related deaths and millions of dollars in property damages alone confirm the real need for everyone to have a disaster preparedness plan.
To promote the importance of preparing before disasters strike, Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security’s Ready Georgia campaign is encouraging statewide participation in September’s National Preparedness Month.
For Georgia’s elementary students, National Preparedness Month not only provides is a valuable safety lesson, giving students the chance to help their families prepare home ready kits for emergencies, but the event also gives kids the chance to be creative by entering Ready Georgia’s Art, Essay and Video Contest.
This is the fifth year for third, fourth and fifth-graders to commemorate National Preparedness Month with this year’s theme, “Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared”.
During this month of September, and running through October 18, students can submit entries that illustrate their personal experiences or knowledge of disaster preparedness. A team of judges will select the top finishers, with first, second and third place prizes awarded in the art and essay categories, and one winner selected in the video category. All winners will be featured on the Ready Georgia website, Flickr page and Facebook page.
Statewide business like The Home Depot stores, have already promoted the National Preparedness Month message. On Saturday, September. 7, The Home Depot, partnered with Ready Georgia, to provided preparedness-themed activities during the company’s monthly Kids Workshop.
Also throughout September, Georgians can access a Verizon Wireless digital coupon for 25 percent off an accessory that can be utilized during severe weather emergencies, such as a phone charger or battery, by simply texting “ReadyGeorgia” to 22699.
Statistics from the National Weather Service reveal that between 1995 and 2012, weather-related events have killed at least 180 people in Georgia and injured countless others. But even in the wake of these threats, a recent survey finds many people are still not prepared.
Georgia’s Director of GEMA/Homeland Security, Charley English says events like National Preparedness Month are a good time to remind people that, “Today is the day before”. English says, “We need to treat today as if it is the day before a disaster, and we need to take steps to prepare ourselves now.