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Be prepared for possible disasters

Residents learn safety tips from Hall fire marshal

POSTED: September 8, 2012 12:30 a.m.

Residents of the Cresswind Subdivision in Gainesville got the chance Friday to learn tips on how to prepare for different types of disasters.

Capt. Scott Cagle, Hall County fire marshal and deputy Emergency Management Agency director, gave the presentation to promote National Preparedness Month.

The presentation taught the residents about the Hall County EMA and fire services and about the different potential types of disasters that could occur in Hall County.

“Everyone assumes severe weather,” Cagle said. “It is any kind of natural or man-made disaster. Hopefully, it will open people’s mind to what a disaster really is.”

He said such catastrophes include tornadoes, fires, floods, earthquakes and any other kind of hazardous event.

Also, Cagle told the residents about the different kinds of programs Hall County citizens can participate in to be more prepared such as Citizens Emergency Response Team. The program is a 20-hour course that Hall County citizens can take to learn how to prepare for potential disasters and how to respond in case such events happen.

Graduates from the program are able to help out in their communities when disasters strike until EMA crews are able to respond.

Cagle also talked about the importance of preparing now for any potential disaster or emergency. Hall County EMA’s slogan for preparedness is “Get a kit, make a plan, be informed.”

“Hopefully, it will give all citizens and residents information and resources they might not know about when it comes to emergency preparedness,” he said.

Cagle was invited by the community’s Educational and Special Services Committee. John McGuidwin, a resident and member on the committee, said the committee plans events and presentations such as this one to educate the residents in their community. He said many of the residents come from outside the area and even outside of the state, and might not be fully aware of emergency services available in the county.

In addition, he hoped some residents would be interested in participating in the CERT program to give the community first responders to help out in case of a disaster.

“It’s all about educating the community,” McGuidwin said.

Several residents attended the presentation.

“I want to be more aware of how to be prepared,” Mim Gilberg said.

She plans to take part in one of the emergency preparedness programs to learn more about being prepared for potential disasters.

“We’re from the north. Our disasters are very different than here,” said Sue Joninas, who attended the presentation with her husband, Jim.

Cagle plans to promote National Preparedness Month throughout September and is available to present information on disaster preparedness to organizations, churches and communities who are interested. He can be reached at 770-531-6838 or


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