Hurricane Preparedness in Central Georgia
Hurricane season is from June 1 until November 30 each year. Although the North Central Health District is located in the middle of Georgia and is more than 120 miles from the coast, hurricane preparedness is still important. Central Georgia can be impacted by hurricanes that strike either the Atlantic Coast or the Gulf Coast. Hurricanes can bring high winds, heavy rains, floods, power outages, and tornadoes to Central Georgia. Additionally, if a hurricane is headed towards the Georgia Coast or the Florida Gulf Coast, many coastal residents will evacuate to Central Georgia.
Central Georgia must be prepared to shelter many people during hurricane evacuations. Public Health employees from the North Central Health District support the Department of Family & Children’s Services (DFCS), American Red Cross, and local Emergency Management Agencies in caring for evacuees.
Personal and Family Preparedness
When severe weather is approaching, make sure your disaster kit is nearby. Listen to local radio or TV stations for weather updates. Have a battery-operated radio in your house in case the power goes out. A NOAA weather radio will alert you when there are severe weather watches or warnings. Don’t forget to check the back-up battery in your weather radio on a regular basis. You will want the radio to work even if there is a power outage.
Prepare a disaster kit for your home: Stock up on nonperishable food and water to sustain you and your family for up to 72 hours or longer. Make sure you have important papers (e.g. insurance, identification), first aid kit, a supply of prescription medicines and other specialty items in your preparedness kit. In addition, plan to have an emergency kit for your car in case you need to evacuate. While creating a disaster kit, pet owners should remember to pack the necessary items for their pets.
Or, check out these other resources for preparing your disaster kit:
Create an emergency plan: Residents living inland should know where to go if ordered to evacuate their area. Flash floods can develop in a matter of minutes with little or no warning. Identify ahead of time where you could go if you have to leave your home. Choose several places, such as a friend’s home in another town, a motel or a shelter. Make sure you know how to contact members of your family and have an emergency contact number for someone out of state that knows where you are in the event of an emergency. Make sure your pet is included in your emergency plan. Offer assistance to an elderly or disabled family member or neighbor that may be alone and may need your help during an emergency. Make plans ahead of time and practice them.
Preparedness for people with disabilities and other special needs: It’s especially important for people with disabilities and other special needs to prepare in advance for hurricanes. Plan to make it on your own, at least for a period of time. It’s possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore. The more planning that you do in advance, the easier it will be for others to help you in case of an emergency.
Create a support network in advance to help in an emergency. Tell these people where you keep your emergency supplies. Contact your local Emergency Management Agency. Many of them keep lists of people with special needs so they can be located quickly in a sudden emergency.
In addition to the things listed above, you should also have these additional supplies:
- Prescription medicines, list of medications including dosage, list of any allergies.
- Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries.
- Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen.
- Keep a list of the style and serial number of medical devices.
- Any other medical supplies you use on a regular basis.
- Medical insurance and Medicare cards.
- List of doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt.