Study Shows That Most Georgians Prepared for Disaster
Agency finds Georgians aware of its campaign 53 percent more prepared to survive emergencies
(ATLANTA) With parts of the nation still reeling from tornado and flood damage and experts predicting another active hurricane season that lasts from June through September, a new study from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Georgia campaign reveals that a majority of Georgians have started taking important steps to prepare for natural or man-made disasters.
Of all Georgia households, 64 percent are now either somewhat or fully prepared with a Ready kit of emergency supplies and a communications plan in place. In addition, 60 percent of respondents know the emergency plan at their workplace, while 47 percent of households with children are familiar with the protocol for an emergency at their child’s school.
The study divulged some other encouraging results. According to the findings, residents aware of Ready Georgia have increased their personal preparedness over the past year.
“The survey shows that people familiar with Ready Georgia are more than twice as likely to be prepared than others,” said Charley English, director of GEMA/Homeland Security. “We are continuing to impact even more of the population, but we’re happy to see that those aware of our campaign are taking responsibility for preparedness. This indicates that more people will be safe in the event of a disaster.”
According to the 2011 survey findings, residents aware of Ready Georgia are more prepared than they were a year ago. For example, the number of households that:
- developed a home escape plan increased by 20 percent
- conducted an evacuation or fire drill rose 39 percent
- safely stored important documents increased by 30 percent
- set aside extra prescription medications or copies of prescriptions grew by 35 percent
GEMA launched the Ready Georgia campaign in January 2008 to educate and motivate residents to prepare for emergencies. The website, www.ready.ga.gov, allows users to create a personalized Ready kit checklist and communications plan, making it simple to take those first steps toward being prepared. Website visitors can also find local emergency contact information, read preparedness testimonials from some of Georgia’s favorite sports stars or take advantage of an online toolkit that helps individuals and organizations localize Ready Georgia’s message of “prepare, plan and stay informed” for their own communities.
This is the third consecutive year the agency has commissioned a study to analyze the extent of emergency preparedness in Georgia. Results from the 2011 survey show that in the past 12 months, most respondents say they have stocked at least some emergency supplies including a flashlight and extra batteries, first aid kit and three-day supply of water and nonperishable food.
However, many Georgians have not stocked critical emergency supplies including:
- 73% do not have a whistle to signal for help
- 58% do not have extra cash available
- 54% do not have extra supplies for pets
“The destruction caused by the deadly storms in recent weeks is a reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness,” said English. “We hope that more residents will embrace the Ready Georgia message and take action to prepare for a disaster.”
For more information on emergency preparedness in the state, visit Ready Georgia at www.ready.ga.gov.
Georgians Missing Crucial Emergency Supplies
- 74% have not purchased a NOAA Weather Radio
- 61% have not compiled an emergency kit for the car
- 67% have not arranged a family meeting or reconnection plan.
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.