"Emergency Citizen's Action Guide"- Be smart, informed & prepared
The articles listed below can be viewed in this "Citizen's Action Guide" publication.
Immediately after an emergency, essential services may be cut off, and local disaster relief and government responders may not be able to reach you right away. Knowing what to do to protect yourself and your household is essential.
This guide describes how to prepare for most disasters, includes safety tips and provides information about emergency water and food. Common sense actions for one emergency event can apply to others. Being informed, remaining calm and having a plan are key to your safety.
As we learned from recent events in our nation’s history, the following things can happen after an emergency or terrorist attack:
- Significant numbers of casualties and/or damage to buildings and the infrastructure may occur. Your employers need current contact numbers and medical information.
- Heavy public safety involvement at the local, state and federal levels will follow a terrorist attack.
- Emergency medical and mental health resources in your community may be strained or overwhelmed.
- Extensive media coverage will follow these events and strong public fear and international implications may arise for an extended time.
- Workplaces,schools and businesses may close, suspend operations, or modify schedules, and travel may be restricted.
- You and your household may have to evacuate or relocate for a period of time.
- Cleanup may take many months.
This guide should serve as your foundation for disaster preparedness and safety. Since special conditions exist in every neighborhood, follow specific instructions for your immediate area.
In the event of an emergency, you should tune into your local news, Cobb Government Access Channel Cobb TV or the NOAA Weather Service Radio. You can also aid your neighborhood prior to a crisis by enrolling in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, which teaches private citizens the basic skills they could need during an emergency. Free CERT classes are held throughout the year. To get further information, visit our CERT page.
Cobb County achieved StormReady recertification to better protect our residents against the ravages of Mother Nature. StormReady is a nationwide community preparedness program that uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of severe weather—from tornadoes to tsunamis.
The program encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improve local hazardous weather operations by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.
Approximately 90% of all Presidentially-declared disasters are weather related which lead to nearly 500 deaths per year and roughly $14 billion in damage. StormReady, a program started in 1999 in Tulsa, OK, helps arm America's communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before and during an event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.
To be officially StormReady, a community must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and an emergency operations center.
- Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public.
- Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally.
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars.
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
The essence of the program is to ensure the entire warning system performs properly when severe weather strikes. The "system" is c omprised of the NWS (which issues the warnings), local emergency management (which ensures the warnings get communicated), and you ( who respond properly to the warnings). When each part of this system performs well, lives and property are saved. StormReady® recognizes those counties in which the system is most likely to perform well.
Information courtesy of the National Weather Service website: stormready.noaa.gov.