GEMA Reminds Residents of National Preparedness Month

Ready Georgia, the emergency preparedness campaign from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), is asking fifth-grade students across the state to recognize National Preparedness Monthin September with a creative art and essay contest about preparing for the unexpected.

The contest theme is “Get Ready Georgia,” and students are encouraged to draw upon their personal experiences of how their families have already prepared for an emergency or how they plan to prepare. Students can produce original artwork that portrays one or more of the steps of emergency preparedness, or write an essay of 500 words or less that describes the steps for emergency preparedness and why it is important.

“Every Georgian, even children, should know how to prepare for emergencies and how to respond if the unexpected happens,” said Charley English, director of GEMA and the Office of Homeland Security. “During National Preparedness Month this contest is a good way for families to talk about disasters, which can sometimes be an unsettling subject to address. By learning how to be ready, children can be confident about safety and help their families be their own first responders.”

Children and their parents are encouraged to visit together to learn more about the three simple steps it takes to be ready – create a Ready kit , develop a family communications plan and stay informed about potential local threats – and use what they learn to create their entry. Art contest submissions could include drawing a picture of the family’s emergency meeting location or painting a picture of the items in a Ready kit. Essays can describe what a student’s family has done to prepare, or the ways kids can help teach people in their community how to get ready.

First, second and third prizes will be awarded in each category and all six winners will be featured on the Ready Georgia Web site and Facebook. Deadline is September 30. For more information about the contest, and where to submit the entries, visit Involved/ReadyKids.

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