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GEMA wants you to make preparedness a New Year's resolution

     From a crippling freeze to deadly tornadoes, Georgians have experienced their share of severe weather in 2011. With the holiday season underway and the end of the year approaching, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security’s (GEMA) Ready Georgia campaign is asking all residents, families and businesses to make preparedness one of their New Year’s resolutions.
     From losing weight to kicking smoking and reducing debt, many individuals focus on a list of goals each January designed to boost happiness and health throughout the year. Unfortunately, many fail to include personal preparedness. According to a 2011 survey conducted by GEMA, 8 out of 10 Georgians admit that preparation, planning and emergency supplies will help them handle a large-scale disaster, yet only one in 10 has taken the necessary steps toward personal preparedness.


      “The damage caused by recent disasters serves as an unfortunate reminder of the importance of preparedness,” said Charley English, director of GEMA/Homeland Security.  “As you gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays, take the time to talk about preparedness. Make a resolution you can keep and ring in the New Year with a plan in place.”
      To prepare for manmade or natural disasters, follow three simple steps:
• Create a Ready kit of emergency supplies including nonperishable food, water, a NOAA All-hazards weather radio and flash light with extra batteries.
• Develop a communications plan to reconnect with family.
• Stay informed about the types of emergencies that can happen in your area and appropriate responses.
      Visitors to Ready Georgia’s website, www.ready.ga.gov, can create an online profile to receive a tailored plan for the entire family that includes the specific amount of supplies to put in their household Ready kits. They can also find local emergency contact information, learn about Georgia-specific disasters and read preparedness testimonials from local sports stars. Employers can use the Ready Your Business guide to create custom contingency plans and children can visit the ReadyKids page for age-appropriate information, videos and games. For preparedness on the go, families can also download Ready Georgia’s free mobile app to learn how to prepare for emergencies, create family communications plans and more.
      Research has revealed that individuals aware of the Ready Georgia campaign are more than twice as likely to be prepared for a large-scale emergency as others – ultimately increasing their chance of surviving a potentially deadly storm and reconnecting with loved ones after a disaster. By making a resolution to be ready in 2012, Georgians can reduce the impact of any sudden emergency on themselves, their families and their businesses.
     “Being prepared is the best defense against the unexpected, so use this opportunity to learn how to become your own first responder during emergency situations,” said English. “Tornadoes, storms and floods can devastate communities, but the damage can be minimized if we’re prepared.”
About Ready Georgia
      Ready Georgia is a statewide campaign designed to educate and empower Georgians to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, pandemic outbreaks, potential terrorist attacks and other large-scale emergencies. The campaign is a project of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and provides a local dimension to Ready America, a broader national campaign. Ready Georgia aims to prepare citizens for maintaining self-sufficiency for at least 72 hours following an emergency, and uses an interactive website, online community toolkit, broadcast and print advertising and public awareness media messaging to reach its audiences.Ready Georgia is also on Facebook and YouTube.

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