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GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in | Environment

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GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in
GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Emergency Management Agency stresses the importance of safety just before Hurricane Preparedness Week hits. 

During the week, May 26 - June 1, education will be offered to all residents through Georgia who plan to camp outdoors, throw cookouts and spend time at the lakes or in the backyard. Severe weather can make its way here anytime, a Ready Georgia spokeswoman said, which puts Georgians at risk statewide.

"History shows that a lack of awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters," Charley English, director of GEMA/Homeland Security said. "Being prepared before a hurricane hits is the only way to ensure that you will be ready. You can try to make preparations in the midst of the storm's formation, but it might be too late. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster."

Those storms that bring hurricanes from the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico can mean storm surge, high winds, tornadoes and flooding for the state of Georgia, according to GEMA.

Ready Georgia's campaign that supports National Hurricane Preparedness will be targeted at spreading educational, useful information about the potential of violent storms.

The campaign includes the following events: 

  • Monday, May 27: Storm Surge— Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. Storm surge can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastline.
  • Tuesday, May 28: High Winds—Hurricanes can produce high winds that add to a storm's destructive power. Hurricane-force winds can easily destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. Winds can stay above hurricane strength well inland.
  • Wednesday, May 29: Inland Flooding—Inland flooding can be a major threat to communities hundreds of miles from Georgia’s coast. More people have died from inland flooding than storm surge, as some of the greatest rainfall amounts occur from weaker storms that drift slowly or stall over an area.
  • Thursday, May 30: Hurricane Forecasting—Staying informed about hurricane forecasts is critical to being prepared for these threats. In forecasting, a hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in an area, and a hurricane warning means a hurricane is expected to hit.
  • Friday, May 31: Be Prepared—To be fully prepared for hurricane season, every household in Georgia should have a Ready kit of emergency supplies for both the home and the car in case of evacuation. A customized Ready kit checklist can be created at www.ready.ga.gov, where a list of basic supplies is also available.
  • Saturday, June 1: Take Action—Take action to prepare for hurricanes and their hazards by developing a family disaster plan and evacuation route. By practicing evacuation plans, a household can be ready to leave if instructed by authorities.