During Severe Weather Awareness Week, which begins today, emergency officials are reminding everyone that bad weather can happen at any time, and you need to be prepared.
“Family Preparedness Day is a time for every family to plan and rehearse what they should do during the first 72 hours of any severe weather-related event or disaster,” said Scotty Hancock, director of the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency.
“With a little time and effort, families can prepare for severe weather hazards affecting our area,” he said. “Developing a family disaster plan is the first step.”
Floyd County EMA officials recommend that families follow these steps:
In addition to your local EMA, you may contact the nearest National Weather Service office, Ready Georgia or the American Red Cross. Find out what type of disasters could occur and how you should respond. Learn the community’s warning signals and evacuation plans.
Discuss the information you have gathered. Pick two places to meet: a spot very near your home for an emergency such as a fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home.
Choose an out-of-state friend as your “family check-in contact” for everyone to call if the family gets separated. Discuss what you would do if advised to evacuate.
Post emergency telephone numbers by phones. Install safety features in your house, such as a NOAA Weather Radio, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Inspect your home for potential hazards — items that can move, fall, break or catch fire — and correct them.
Have family members learn basic safety measures such as CPR and first-aid, how to use a fire extinguisher and how and when to turn off water, gas and electricity in your home. Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number.
Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your family’s needs for at least three days. Assemble an emergency preparedness kit with items you may need in case of an evacuation.
Ask questions to make sure your family remembers meeting places, phone numbers, and safety rules. Conduct drills.
Test your weather radio and smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Test and recharge your fire extinguishers according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Replace stored water and food every six months.
You can get more information, from the Floyd County EMA by visiting their website at www.romefloyd.com or calling 706-236-5002. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency at www.gema.ga.gov or www.ready.ga.gov also has tips.
SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK SERIES