Summer in Georgia is certainly here. Temperatures are high, kids are out of school and many are planning to enjoy some well-deserved vacation time.
But it isn’t always fun in the sun. According to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Georgia campaign, Georgia’s warmer months also bring hazards that can be avoided if citizens are well-prepared.
Each year heat causes about 400 deaths across the nation according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Add to that the 300 deaths a year caused by lightning, 140 from flooding and thousands of others caused by severe storms, fires and hurricanes, and you can see that summer poses some real threats.
Ready Georgia wants you and your family to be ready for these unexpected emergencies. So, before you pack your beach bag, make sure to pack your ready kit.
Preparing a ready kit of emergency supplies, discussing an emergency family plan and staying informed about how to react to certain emergencies can help mitigate the effects of any summer disaster.
Follow these tips to help you and your family have a safe summer:
• Make a plan to conserve water in your household.
• Have enough bottled water in your ready kit — one gallon per person for three days.
• Know your local water restrictions and follow direction of water authorities.
Floods and flash floods
• Develop an evacuation plan that moves you to higher ground away from bodies of waters.
• Consider moving valuables to higher floors and talk to your insurance provider about your policy to see if it covers flood damage.
• Know your area’s flood risk and stay out of flood waters as much as possible.
• Review and practice escape plans from your home.
• Place smoke alarms in every room of your house and make sure they all work properly.
• Know to stay low if a fire breaks out and listen to fire officials upon their arrival.
• Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe storm.
• Postpone outdoor activities in the event of a severe storm and plan to take shelter in case of heavy winds or lightning.
• Understand the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a severe thunderstorm warning.
• A thunderstorm watch means there is a possibility of a thunderstorm in your area.
• A thunderstorm warning means a thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon. If you are advised to take shelter, do so immediately.
• Plan to stay indoors and drink plenty of water during extreme heat conditions.
• Prepare your home by keeping it well-insulated and windows shaded.
• Learn about the types of medical conditions (like heat exhaustion and heat stroke) that can result from heat waves and the proper first aid measures that should be taken.
• Plan an evacuation plan out of your neighborhood and identify a place to take shelter.
• Prepare a ready kit of emergency supplies in case you lose electricity or have to evacuate.
• Follow instructions of emergency officials, and know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning.
• A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area.
• A hurricane warning means a hurricane is expected in your area.