News 12 This Morning / Friday, June 1, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Hurricane season started on Friday, but two named tropical storms have already swept through the Southeast. As area county emergency personnel prepare for the season ahead, the county wants you to be prepared at home as well.
At a moment's notice, Sam Booher is ready to hit the road.
"We are then available to help in emergencies, primarily in our own subdivisions," Booher said.
He's certified through the community emergency response team in Columbia County, also known as CERT. Booher is equipped with radios, a first aid kit and other tools necessary during a disaster.
"The county emergency people can't get here right away, let's say roads are blocked, pine trees all over the road, vehicles can't get in, we are your first line of defense," Booher explained.
Pam Tucker, the director of emergency management agency, added, "When you have a catastrophic disaster, you have a lot of people who want to show up and help."
This year, emergency management in Columbia County has more than 400 people ready to help save lives and bring people to safety, volunteers like Booher.
"Our county is probably better prepared for these situations then a lot of other counties in Georgia," Booher said.
This storm-ready community wants you to be ready, too.
"The power outages always seem to throw people for a loop and they need to have a plan for that -- be prepared, look at generators," Tucker said.
Tucker recommends building your own emergency supply kit packed with batteries, a flash light, food and water. A gallon of water will last one person three days during a disaster. You can do the math to see how much water you need to store.
Homeowners should also review their insurance policies and look into whether they need flood insurance.
"Down bursts or tornado or straight-line winds blowing a tree over, your homeowners insurance will cover that," Tucker said.
That's why he is ready to step in if a storm hits. You can find more tips on how to prepare yourself here.