Posts Tagged ‘GEMA’

Severe Weather Awareness Week

Severe Weather Awareness: Be Prepared!

Severe weather can happen at anytime, and can include hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, such as damaging winds, tornadoes, hail, flooding and winter storms associated with freezing rain, sleet, snow and strong winds.All of these events highlight the need for emergency preparation.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) have the responsibility of coordinating Federal and State emergency events with state and local officials, and urging the public to prepare to stay safe. GEMA’s Ready Georgia, a statewide emergency preparedness campaign, offers tools that residents can use to create an emergency supply kit, develop a communications plan and stay informed about potential threats.

For more information, read the February issue of the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) Loss Control Bulletin. You can also find GEMA’s severe weather planning and safety tips at

State agencies gather for #TeamGaSocial Summit to discuss Emergency Communications

Approximately 50 communications and leadership personnel representing nearly 40 state agencies gathered on July 30, 2014, at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s State Operations Center in Atlanta to discuss emergency communications and lessons learned from the winter storms that struck Georgia earlier this year.

The presentations varied, but they all focused on how government agencies can better communicate with their audiences before, during and after an emergency.

Cross-agency coordination like this is imperative for much of the work communicators do. This is especially true during an emergency, where cooperation between agencies is imperative and allows communicators to amplify messages, grow audiences, and better communicate with customers. To that end, representatives from the private sector (Georgia Power and The Weather Channel) were also invited to some and share their “best practices” with the State.

Below are the presentations from Georgia’s third #TeamGaSocial Summit:

• Georgia Department of Administrative Services:
Employee Communications: Tips and strategies for effectively communicating with your employees before, during and after an emergency

• Georgia National Guard
State/Federal Cooperation: What communications role Federal entities can play in a local emergency; and how words, actions and images can impact the perception of an emergency response

• Georgia Regional Transportation Authority:
Customer Relations: Moving past the disaster: Changing the conversation without shutting down engagement

• Georgia Power
Public/Private Partnerships: How private sector PR assets can support public sector communications needs in an emergency

• The Weather Channel
Media Relations: Resources and information TWC provides during an inclement weather emergency that state agencies should be aware of; and information news outlets want from state government during an emergency and what channels they monitor to get it

• Georgia Emergency Management Agency
Coordinated Communications: How the messaging from all participating partners gets de-conflicted and unified during an emergency; What information GEMA pushes out during an emergency and through which channels; and innovations and improvements in GEMA’s emergency communications processes

For pictures and discussion from the day’s event, please click here.

If you “do social media” for your state agency, we invite you to join our Facebook group by requesting access here.

New and improved Ready Georgia app now available

Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency today introduced an upgraded version of the state’s emergency mobile app, Ready Georgia, designed to help Georgians stay safe and informed during emergencies. Upgrading the app was one of the recommendations of the governor’s Severe Winter Weather Warning and Preparedness Taskforce.

“When severe weather hit our state this year, I called on our emergency management agency to upgrade the state’s emergency app with shelter information, alternative transportation routes and other emergency-related information,” Deal said. “The Ready Georgia app already served as a good resource for Georgians, but now that its capabilities have been expanded it will keep us better informed when emergency situations arise. I appreciate the cooperative efforts of all involved in this process, and I encourage everyone to download this app in advance of future weather-related emergencies.”

Launching just in time for the start of hurricane season, the upgraded Ready Georgia app features geo-targeted severe weather and emergency alerts that will notify users’ phones before disasters strike. The app also includes traffic information, including a live traffic map with incident reports straight from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Finally, an enhanced shelters map displays the location of open Red Cross shelters as well as approved “good Samaritan” shelters, and provides directions from the users’ current location.

“This was a collaborative process, and we’d like to thank all the organizations that partnered with us to provide information and feedback during development,” said GEMA Director Charley English. “This app is an important tool in our ability to communicate with Georgians and help them stay informed, and we are really pleased with the new features added as part of this upgrade.”

In addition to the new features, users will still be able to keep checklists of emergency supplies, create customized disaster plans for their families, check flood risk levels and historical tornado data near their location, and find contact information for their local emergency management agencies.

GEMA worked in partnership with the National Weather Service, GDOT, Georgia Tech and The Weather Channel during the app’s development.

To download the Ready Georgia mobile app, visit For more information on how to prepare for severe weather, visit To learn about specific risks in your area, contact your local emergency management agency.

About Ready Georgia

Ready Georgia is a statewide campaign designed to educate and empower Georgians to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, pandemic outbreaks, potential terrorist attacks and other large-scale emergencies. The campaign is a project of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and provides a local dimension to Ready America, a broader national campaign. Ready Georgia aims to prepare citizens for maintaining self-sufficiency for at least 72 hours following an emergency, and uses an interactive Web site, online community toolkit, broadcast and print advertising and public awareness media messaging to reach its audiences. Ready Georgia is also on Facebook and YouTube.