Resolve to be ready for danger
As 2011—one of the most active and deadly years for natural disasters in recent history—comes to a close and people get ready to ring in a new year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is encouraging everyone to “Resolve to be Ready” by making a resolution to be prepared for emergencies.
The southeastern United States was struck by more than 20 natural disasters during the past year. Hurricane Irene hit North Carolina and an outbreak of “super cell tornadoes” left a huge path of destruction in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. The region also experienced several major thunderstorms, severe flooding and wildfires.
Who can forget the killer tornadoes that swept across North Alabama on April 27, leaving more than 100 people dead and destroying hundreds of homes and other buildings? While no one was killed, a tornado leveled more than 25 homes in the Hulaco community of Morgan County. Fortunately, the disaster occurred at a time when many people were away from their homes at work, or had enough advance warning to allow them to evacuate.
These events have served as important reminders that natural disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, and being prepared is one of the most effective things we can do to protect our homes, businesses and loved ones. The communities of Danville, Punkin Center and Cotaco wasted no time taking action. Contracts were let for the construction of a public storm shelter in Punkin Center and a second shelter in Danville with the aid of federal grants and the Cotaco community raised the money needed to build a shelter under the #1 fire station.
The “Resolve to be Ready” campaign is making an emergency preparedness resolution easy to keep by providing the tools and resources needed to take four important steps: be informed about the different types of emergencies that can happen in your area and their appropriate responses, make a family communications plan, build an emergency kit, and get involved in community preparedness.
If the April 27 tornadoes taught us one thing it’s that being prepared and taking an emergency warning seriously saves lives. Our wish is that you have a safe and happy New Year.