Welcome to the Get Ready podcast
Ready Georgia: Hello, and welcome to the first edition of the Ready Georgia podcast series. Since this is our first podcast, before we get started, I’d like to introduce myself and explain more about Ready Georgia and its goal. My name is Suzy Bowen and I have the privilege of being part of the Ready Georgia team. Ready Georgia itself is a campaign from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency that encourages all Georgians to prepare for natural and man-made emergencies. To give a few examples those are floods, tornadoes, hurricanes pandemic outbreaks and terrorist attacks.
Ready Georgia: While these are unsettling topics, it’s important to prepare because disasters usually strike with little warning. That’s why Ready Georgia exists and part of the reason for this podcast series. We know you’re are busy and want to provide you with easy access to information while you’re on the go. These short podcasts will give quick tips about preparing for emergencies in Georgia and also offer important facts and information that every Georgian should know.
Ready Georgia: In this podcast we are going to cover the three step emergency preparedness process which is the basis of Ready Georgia – Prepare, plan and stay informed.
Ready Georgia: Let’s start with prepare since it’s the first step in the process. Preparing involves packing a Ready kit. A Ready kit is an emergency supply kit with all the basic survival items that you and your family would need to make it on your own for three days. Emergency crews mobilize immediately after a disaster strikes, but circumstances like flooded roads, washed out bridges and snow drifts could make it take longer to reach you. That’s why Ready Georgia encourages you to be your own first responder by preparing today with a Ready kit.
Ready Georgia: A Ready kit includes the following basic items such as water. We recommend one gallon of water per person for three days. We also recommend a 3-day supply of non-perishable food. This can be anything from canned food to peanut butter and applesauce. If you do decide to put canned food in your Ready kit, make sure you include a can opener. We also recommend putting a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with a tone alert in your kit. Be sure that if they are battery-powered that you have extra batteries for both of them.
Ready Georgia: Also include a flashlight and extra batteries, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a whistle in case you need to signal for help, a face mask in case you need to filter out contaminated air particles, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation, a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, and the last item from the basic list is local maps in case you need to evacuate and look for alternative routes to traffic.
Ready Georgia: In addition to this basic list of supplies, your family may have other needs that you’ll need to address. If you have a pet, make sure you include extra food and water, as well as extra pet supplies such as a litter box or a carrier if needed. If you have an infant, make sure you have baby formula and diapers in your Ready kit. Or if you have someone in your family with special needs or an older loved one, make sure you include extra medications in your Ready kit, including the dosage for each type of medicine.
Ready Georgia: The next step to getting ready is to create a family communications plan. Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes, so you’ll need to know in advance how to communicate with each other. During a local emergency, it may be easier to contact an out-of-town friend or family member. For starters, if they live in another state, they are more than likely not facing the same emergency situation that you are. He or she will be able to stay near their phone and wait for all the members of your family to call and check in. Also, it may be easier to call a non-local phone number during an emergency.
Ready Georgia: Make sure that everyone in your family knows who your out of town contact is and the number to contact him or her. It’s a good idea to write the contact’s name and number on an index card, so that can easily carry it with them in a wallet, purse or backpack. Your family should also choose a place to meet in case a disaster occurs while you are at work and your kids are at school. Pick a place that’s safe, easy to find and familiar to all family members. If landlines are down, a meeting place will be especially crucial to helping your family find one another. A plan can seem like a lot to organize, so Ready Georgia has created a tool to help you.
Ready Georgia: The Ready profile on our website allows you to create a customized plan for your family. All you have to do is create a secure account and enter your information. This feature can also generate a customized checklist of items for your Ready kit that goes beyond the basic 11 items and can help you address your unique needs such as pets, babies and loved ones with special needs.
Ready Georgia: The final step is staying informed. Georgia is susceptible to a variety of disasters. The most common being flood, tornadoes, thunderstorms, extreme heat and hurricanes. To get ready for any of these disasters, the first steps include preparing with a Ready kit and making an emergency plan. But, the response to each of these disasters can be different, so be sure to make yourself aware of what to do during and after each of these.
Ready Georgia: For example, during a flood, it’s best to grab your to-go Ready kit and move to higher ground quickly. In a tornado, you should take shelter immediately. All of Georgia’s disasters, except for extreme heat, can have watches and warnings. It’s important to know the difference between the two because it will affect your response. A watch means that conditions are favorable for a type of weather to form. A warning means that a weather pattern is imminent or already happening. That’s all we’ve got for today.
Ready Georgia: Just to recap, the three steps are prepare, plan and stay informed. If you’d like to find out more details about any of these, you can visit our website at ready-dot-g-a-gov. While you’re there, you can create your Ready profile to get your Ready kit checklist and develop a communications plan, as well as get information about the five most common weather patterns in Georgia.