Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gustav One Year Later: A Reminder For People And Businesses To Plan And Prepare

This time last year, the Gulf Coast was cleaning up from Hurricane Gustav, one of four tropical cyclones that made U.S. landfall in quick succession in August and September. Damages from Gustav resulted in a presidential declaration for Louisiana, where the storm made landfall, plus three states served by FEMA's regional office in Atlanta - Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

To date, those three states have received more than $51 million in assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help people and communities recover. Florida received $1.1 million and Alabama nearly $7 million in Public Assistance. Mississippi received $43.7 million for Public Assistance as well as Individuals and Households Program assistance, including low-cost loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"The one-year mark of Gustav reminds us that emergency situations can occur with little or no notice," said FEMA Region IV Administrator Phil May, who oversees the agency's operations in eight southeastern states. "Everyone needs to understand the importance of preparedness. That means: have a plan, have a kit, learn a skill and check on a neighbor once your family is safe after a disaster strikes," he said.

"September is National Preparedness Month. Alabama residents and businesses need to be proactive and take advantage of available tools to plan and prepare for the next event," said AEMA Director Brock Long. "Alabama dodged the brunt of Hurricane Gustav, but the next time Alabama may be the state that is directly impacted."

For more information on National Preparedness Month or getting prepared, call 800-BE-READY or visit, the Spanish version, or for free preparedness resources, such as family emergency plan templates, emergency supply kit checklists, and much more.

The Ready Web site also has a special sections for children, ages 8-12, (Ready Kids) and small- to medium-sized businesses (Ready Business).
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