Washington, D.C. – As Hurricane Florence builds and blows across the southeast, this storm has the potential to cause some serious damage, not just to the Carolinas, but to parts of our home state as well. Governor Deal has issued a state of emergency for all 159 Georgia counties, and President Trump has personally offered his support to the governor during this time. Storms are unpredictable so it is vital that you and your family are prepared and informed. Before we hunker down, it’s important to keep in mind a few safety tips and learn about the resources that are available to those affected by this severe weather.
In preparation, I encourage folks to update your disaster kit by stocking up on supplies, learn evacuation routes from your area, develop an exit strategy, and create an emergency communication plan with important numbers. Bottled water, non-perishable food items, flashlights, and extra medication are all important things to have on hand. To prevent food spoilage in the case of a power outage, turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting early and only open if necessary. Should you need to take shelter or evacuate, please keep your pets and animals in mind.
In addition to monitoring local radio and TV stations for updated emergency information, the FEMA mobile app and the Ready Georgia app are also full of helpful resources – with everything from a checklist for emergency supplies to maps of open shelters to weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) is coordinating with federal, state, and local partners for quick and targeted responses throughout the hurricane’s duration and afterwards. GEMA will also be the best point of contact for questions or assistance.
Other important resources include the American Red Cross, the USDA, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and Explore Georgia. While social media is useful for staying updated on the storm’s progress, for immediate emergencies, please call 911. As always, my office is here to help in whatever way we can, and I encourage you to reach out to one of my local offices if we can be of assistance. Stay safe and stay cautious, Georgia 10.
Featured in the Walton Tribune on Friday, September 14, 2018.
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