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Fifth-grader wins statewide preparedness poster contest

No matter what happens, Noah Mooney is prepared. And now that he won first place in the 2010 Ready Georgia's kids contest, Noah's entire family is prepared.

"He's very meticulous about being prepared for things," said Dr. Kelly Carter, Noah's mother. "So, he's been very helpful for me, his dad and his older brother to be a little more prepared. ... We are very proud of him."

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency asked fifth-graders statewide to submit art and essay entries surrounding the theme "Ready, Set, Go" to demonstrate their understanding of emergency preparedness.

Noah, who is a fifth-grader at Briarwood Academy in Warren County, made a mobile showing all the items needed for a preparation kit and the type of disasters to be prepared for. Noah cut out pictures from magazines to demonstrate what type of items are needed for a readiness kit.

Dr. Carter said Noah told her he was hoping to create something easy for people to remember.

"He's conscientious about everyone being safe," she said. "So we actually have a readiness bag now, and plans where everybody knows how to get out of the house and where to meet. So, this has been good not only for Noah, but for all of us."

GEMA's Lisa Newman said Noah's response and activity to get his whole family involved was the intent behind the contest.

"That's so good to hear," Ms. Newman said. "That was our intention, so I'm glad it worked out. It's very important for people to be prepared."

Ms. Newman said Georgia is susceptible to a myriad of disasters such as storms, tornados, ice storms, and the effects of hurricanes. She named manmade disasters such as fire, gas main break, and domestic and international terrorism.

"So, you never know what might happen," she said. "It's just good to be prepared for anything at anytime."

The website helps families figure out how much food and water they will need to survive for three days after a disaster, what to do with pets and how to decide on a meeting place in the event of fire or gas main break.

Ms. Newman also recommended keeping a flashlight handy alongside the kit and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio.

"These are just as important as a smoke detector because they can save your life," she said, adding that the radio alerts people to watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service when they are asleep or awake.

Web posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010

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