News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, July 11, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- According to a new survey, 75% of Georgians believe they are ready for a disaster, but experts aren't so sure. The Red Cross and Columbia County want to help you be ready, but they need your help.
This Red Cross trailer is just sitting in a parking lot now, but in a moment's notice it could be shipped to help people in need. A group of volunteers gathered around this trailer to take a look at their supplies. Eighteen-year-old Sabrina Rush is a youth volunteer with the Red Cross and President of the Youth Board. "We are inventorying everything that we will need for a disaster. We're seeing what we have and what we need," explained Rush.
Among the other volunteers is Registered Nurse Richard Boggan. He realizes that "with the storms as bad as we've had recently, it pays to be prepared." If a disaster strikes, this Red Cross trailer will be ready to roll. It has enough supplies to care for about 75 people. However, in the event of a large-scale disaster, this may not be enough. Director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations Pam Tucker knows, "in a major disaster, [the city doesn't] have enough resources to get to everybody's house within a really quick period of time, so you need to be able to take care of yourself for at least 72 hours."
According to a new survey, 75% of Georgians feel prepared to handle a large-scale disaster, but being ready means more than running to the closet when a tornado comes. "Being prepared means knowing what hazards can happen in your community . . . and then knowing the preparedness steps for each of those," offers Tucker. Sabrina Rush can speak from experience. "I've learned with the American Red Cross it's important to build a kit and stay informed, so it's important to have that at your house," she explains. Thanks to a new cell phone alert, staying informed is easier than ever. "You're actually going to be able to get text alerts on your smart phone. This is brand new, and this is national as well," says Tucker. The alerts are for emergencies only and will warn you about dangerous conditions like tornadoes, flooding, and ice. So, while the Red Cross is prepared for anything, Pam says it's up to you to be ready.
"If you think it can't happen to you, you need to be realistic and realize that even if you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for your family and the people that love you," she urges.
To sign up for the text alerts, go to this website: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/wea.html
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