Barrow County Emergency Services is joining with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in urging Barrow County citizens to ensure their families, homes and businesses are prepared for the current hurricane season which began June 1.
Though not a coastal community, Barrow County may be affected by hurricanes or tropical storms that move inland after making landfall on the coast. These storms can trigger many powerful winds, severe thunderstorms, heavy rains and even tornadoes.
Last fall, Georgia experienced heavy flooding. The risk for this type of flooding is higher during hurricane season.
“We want to remind every citizen that although we are here to help protect them, their families and their property, the best protection available is for them to be prepared in case of an emergency,” said Barrow County Emergency Services public information officer Lt. Scott Dakin. “The more prepared that the citizens are, the better the overall outcome will be if we suffer severe weather during this hurricane season.”
FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said his agency is working with state and local officials to ensure that all potentially affected communities are prepared to respond.
“But we can only be as prepared as the public,” Fugate said. “So it’s important that everyone take steps now to help keep their family safe in the event of a hurricane or other emergency.”
These steps include making a family communications plan, putting together an emergency kit, staying informed of risks and weather forecasts and considering flood insurance, he said.
For more information and help in developing a family emergency plan, visit www.ready.gov and follow the easy instructions. To learn the level of flood risk for your property, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
To minimize the potentially devastating effects of flooding, officials recommend carrying adequate insurance, preparing a home inventory of all major household items and valuables and protecting important documents such as birth certificates by keeping originals in safe deposit boxes. Authorities also emphasize the importance of having a family emergency plan.
“Remember that the better prepared everyone is the better the outcome will be for us all,” Dakin said. “It is always better to be prepared for an emergency and never need to utilize this preparation than to experience an emergency and have no idea how to help yourself or your family.”