Henry County, GA, located approximately 30 miles south of Atlanta, has experienced several tornadoes since 2000, including an EF-3 tornado in April 2011 and an EF-2 tornado that caused significant damage at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“When a tornado, or any potentially life-threatening weather strikes, no one should leave emergency preparedness to chance,” said Henry County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Don Ash. “Having a plan and practicing it could be the difference between life and death.”
In January, Henry County EMA and Local Emergency Planning Committee partners, including the Henry County School System, county agencies, Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security, Mercer University, and PVH Corp. agreed to conduct Ready Henry County’s PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety. The partners encouraged other community leaders from Timberridge Presbyterian Church, and local community groups, to participate as well. This community-wide drill was held in coordination with Georgia’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week, February 1-5, 2016.
On February 5, participants conducted a drill to practice their emergency action plans or led a preparedness discussion, joining more than one million Georgians who took part in registered activities in collaboration with America’s PrepareAthon!
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s Henry County Alumnae Chapter Emergency Response Team (HCACERT) used Ready Henry County’s PrepareAthon! as a catalyst to help some of the area’s more vulnerable populations get disaster-ready. HCACERT distributed 75 bags with disaster preparedness information, first aid kits, hand sanitizer, granola snacks, and water to some of the county’s low-income residents.
“Part of the mission of the Delta Emergency Response Team is to participate in emergency preparedness activities,” says Janice L. Jones, HCACERT committee chairperson. “Henry County's PrepareAthon! gave us an opportunity to do just that.”
Henry County students also shared ways their families prepare for disaster during Severe Weather Preparedness Week by writing essays, creating posters, and filming public service announcements.
“One of the goals of Henry County EMA is for children to have fun while learning valuable lessons about disaster preparedness,” said Ash. “Ready Henry County’s PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety gave our school a wonderful opportunity for the students to get creative and share their innovative ideas with the community and their families. It was a really great way to initiate that conversation.”
Henry County Collaborates to Activate Tornado Preparedness
- Child Care Center, School, College/University (15)
- Faith-Based Organization (2)
- Individual/Family/Neighborhood (18)
- Military (2)
- Non-Profit/Volunteer Organization (5)
- Private Sector/Business (18)
- Public Sector/Government (non-military) (22)
- Whole Community Event (multiple sectors participating) (34)