Emergency Preparedness Month begins - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Emergency Preparedness Month begins

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – We've been lucky so far in south Georgia this year, but we are still right in the middle of hurricane season.

While it would appear that Hurricane Earl will not directly affect South Georgia, public health officials are watching it carefully anyway.

Julie Miller, the Emergency Preparedness Director for Southwest Georgia Public Health said, "while we're not in a direct line as far as the predictions are currently, we always have to watch."

Earl may not hit South Georgia, but he is sending a clear message about preparedness to people in our region.  And right on cue, today begins Emergency Preparedness Month.

"We're glad that there's that annual month, that annual reminder in September that there's Emergency Preparedness Month.  Because it is easy on a bright, pretty, sunny day to forget."

Hurricanes often make the headlines this time of the year, but they're not the only weather related threat that we face.  Tornadoes are dangerous too.  But for South Georgia, the worst natural disaster is one that comes more slowly, and can stick around longer.

"Flooding.  Even though it may not affect a community from county line to county line, it can be devastating for families," said Miller.

While most disasters are unavoidable, there is one thing that you can do to help make sure that you can survive.

The best way to stay safe during and after an emergency is to have a kit like this one.  If you don't have one, now is a pretty good time to build one.  And if you do have, now is a pretty good time to do something else, according to Miller.

"Just check them.  Because there are things that have some shelf life expiration," she said.

That's especially true of those extra medications and batteries that you have stored away.  They won't do you much good if they're out of date - or dead.  But they're both part of a good overall emergency preparedness kit.

"You need water, weather radio, backup batteries," said Miller.

No matter what you're putting in your kit, the most important thing is to have one ready.

"Planning is the key," said Miller.

That way when the conditions are too rough for man and beast, you can survive the storm.

The average peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is September 10th. The hurricane season ends on November 30th, but disasters such as tornadoes and flooding can strike any time of the year.

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