It seems each and evey week there are floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and weather emergencies happening somewhere. With a new smartphone app, Georgia residents can stay abreast of any problems that may come their way.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA) and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) have partnered to create the Ready Georgia mobile app. The free app, available for both iPhone and Android devices, supports Ready Georgia’s mission to encourage residents to prepare, plan and stay informed for emergencies. From up-to-the-minute weather and hazard alerts based on a user’s location, to customizable emergency preparedness checklists, the app combines a robust set of features not previously available in one mobile application.
“Preparation is key to surviving disasters, and the Ready Georgia mobile app makes it easier than ever for Georgians to get prepared, just in time for National Preparedness Month, which runs through September,” said GEMA Director Charley English. “If you’re shopping for emergency supplies, you have a checklist in your pocket. If you see storm clouds, you can check weather alerts. You can even pull up a local map to see if a shelter has been opened in your community.”
Before an emergency, users will be able to create customizable checklists of emergency supplies, make disaster plans for their families and check flood risk levels and historic tornado data near their location. During an emergency, the app will deliver severe weather alerts, show the locations of open Red Cross shelters and provide information on what to do during different types of disasters.
In addition to localized severe weather alerts, users will also receive alerts from GEMA and DPH in the event of other emergencies, such as terrorist attacks, infectious diseases or biological threats.
“Diseases spread fast and the need to reach people in real time with life-saving information is more important than ever,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., Commissioner of DPH. “The Ready Georgia mobile app gives us the ability to instantly deliver potentially life-saving information to almost anyone with a smartphone.”
Despite all the extreme weather in 2011, a majority of Georgians are still not fully prepared for an emergency, according to a recent study from GEMA. According to the GEMA survey, 53 percent of households aware of Ready Georgia are more prepared to survive a disaster than those who are unaware of the campaign. With the number of smartphone users expected to grow about 55% in 2011, the mobile app offers an opportunity to engage a large number of residents in a new way. From Albany to Blairsville, Smyrna to Savannah, all Georgians need this app.
Residents can also visit the Ready Georgia website, www.ready.ga.gov, to learn how to prepare for emergencies