Preparing for a disaster - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Preparing for a disaster

May 18, 2006

Albany - - A disaster can strike at any moment. Whether there's a tornado, flooding, or chemical leak, government leaders and first responders must work together to bring the situation under control. 

 That was the message of a disaster declaration workshop today at Darton College. A representative from FEMA outlined the protocal for county leaders to get assistance when there's a disaster.

When Governor Perdue finds a situation severe enough to declare a state of emergency, Georgia Emergency Management Association leaders say the state is ready to respond.

"A catastrophic event that happened in Mississippi, Louisiana, I don't think anyone can be prepared for that, but one of our strengths in Georgia is we have communication already set up. We know who we are and who the other persons are rather than having to make the introductions on the spot. We work together on a day to day basis," says Gary Rice of GEMA.

If a county's damages exceed $700,000, the Federal government can step in with assistance. Gary Rice says instead of contacting the governor's office or a county commissioner for assistance during a possible catastrophe, GEMA should be the first agency notified.

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