Editorial

The Central Georgia area, including Baldwin County, is expected to get drenching rain from the after-affects of Hurricane Sally today and through the remainder of the week. 

September is National Preparedness Month and we can all use a reminder when it comes to preparing for these types of weather-related circumstances. 

A 2015 survey by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) survey found that nearly 60 percent of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster by participating in a disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, school or home and only 39 percent of respondents have developed an emergency plan and discussed it with their household. 

Don’t be a part of this statistic.

Preparation is key to staying safe as weather circumstances can change in an instant. 

Here are a few tips from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) to keep in mind: 

•Use technology to ensure your family to stay informed on the latest developments. If you haven’t signed up for the county alert system then you should — visit http://www.baldwincountyga.com/register-for-citizen-alerts/ to learn how to register. 

•Formulate an emergency plan for your family. Go over it with family members and make sure that everyone understands it and has a copy. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. Address the unique needs of pets, older loved ones and family members with special needs in your plan.

•Prepare an emergency kit with necessities such as first aid materials, a radio, phone chargers, water and non-perishable food, a flashlight, and other important personal items such as pet supplies, infant formula and diapers, medications and blankets. Collect important documents such as birth certificates and marriage licenses for safekeeping.

•Compile a list of emergency contacts for local law enforcement. 

•Stock up on personal hygiene items, toiletries, clothing and blankets. Include face masks for each family member and hand sanitizer.

•Store enough food, water and medications to last for 72 hours. Remember the same for pets.

•Show your family members how to shut off your home’s utilities safely.

•Withdraw cash from your bank or ATM and keep on hand.

Either through weather apps, radio or through the county alert system. 

Severe weather can happen at any time, anywhere, and with spring’s arrival, the potential for violent weather increases. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 42 percent of cellphone owners do not know all their immediate family members’ phone numbers. Furthermore, the CDC reports that more than half of parents do not have a designated meeting place in case of a disaster.

Don’t be a part of the statistics. Plan and prepare.

For more tips and tools visit www.ready.ga.gov.

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