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State releases upgraded emergency mobile app

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Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security today introduced an upgraded version of the state’s emergency mobile app, Ready Georgia, which was designed to help Georgians stay safe and informed during emergencies. Upgrading the app was one of the recommendations of the governor’s Severe Winter Weather Warning and Preparedness Taskforce.
 
“When severe weather hit our state this year, I called on our emergency management agency to upgrade the state’s emergency app with shelter information, alternative transportation routes and other emergency-related information,” Deal said. “The Ready Georgia app already served as a good resource for Georgians, but now that its capabilities have been expanded it will keep us better informed when emergency situations arise. I appreciate the cooperative efforts of all involved in this process, and I encourage everyone to download this app in advance of future weather-related emergencies.”
 
Launching just in time for the start of hurricane season on June 1, the upgraded Ready Georgia app features geo-targeted severe weather and emergency alerts that will notify users’ phones before disasters strike. The app also includes traffic information, including a live traffic map with incident reports straight from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Finally, an enhanced shelters map displays the location of open Red Cross shelters and approved “good Samaritan” shelters, and provides directions from the users’ current location.
 
“This was a collaborative process and we’d like to thank all the organizations that partnered with us to provide information and feedback during development,” said GEMA/Homeland Security Director Charley English. “This app is an important tool in our ability to communicate with Georgians and help them stay informed, and we are really pleased with the new features that we have added as part of this upgrade.”
 
In addition to the new features, users will still be able to keep checklists of emergency supplies, create customized disaster plans for their families, check flood risk levels and historical tornado data near their location, and find contact information for their local emergency management agencies.
 
GEMA worked in partnership with the National Weather Service, GDOT, Georgia Tech and The Weather Channel during the app’s development. To download the Ready Georgia mobile app, visit www.ready.ga.gov/mobileapp. For more information on how to prepare for severe weather, visit www.ready.ga.gov. To learn about specific risks in your area, contact your local emergency management agency.
 
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 Web site, online community toolkit, broadcast and print advertising and public awareness media messaging to reach its audiences. Ready Georgia is also on Facebook and YouTube.
 

Gas may go higher with Iraq turmoil

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Average retail gasoline prices in Georgia have risen 1 cent per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.55/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 5,883 gas outlets in Georgia. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.65/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com
    Including the change in gas prices in Georgia during the past week, prices yesterday were 8.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 7.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has increased 2.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 3.7 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago. 

Backyard chicken class at Farmers Market

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By Darla Huffman
    Roxanne Janes is a regular vendor at the Market, selling eggs, chickens and several choices of homemade breads, but she doesn’t usually have any chickens with her. This week she did; a cage with five adult hens who were on their way to their new home, having been ordered in advance. Which gives me the perfect segue to let

Bat watchers wanted for monitoring project

ga bats. white nose

Bats with white nose syndrome from Ga. DNR website. 

You’ve probably seen bats feeding around lights in your neighborhood or dipping across a country road in front of your headlights.

But are you seeing them as often as you used to years ago? 

Biologists with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are concerned that bat populations may be declining, especially since white-nose syndrome – a fast-spreading disease fatal to bats – was detected in the state last year.

 Now, Georgians can help monitor bats in their area.

Jones Mountain bridge reopens

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    Midday Tuesday, June 17, Georgia DOT engineer Sam Wheeler said crews were removing barricades at the Jones Mountain bridge on Highway 136 that has been closed since April. 

     "They will wait for a week or two and then go in and do a repair to the asphalt, but we are waiting to see if there is anymore settlement behind the bridge first," Wheeler said.

   The repairs are considered temporary. One person on the job said it is a band-aid, but one that will allow the important connector between Pickens and Gilmer counties to be used until a permanent fix is completed.