Governor Announces Disaster Preparedness Campaign

"Be prepared."

It's a motto many people remember from their youth, but when a disaster hits close to home it could become the best advice you'll ever hear.

Governor Riley and the Alabama Department of Homeland Security announced the "Be Ready Alabama" campaign as part of National Preparedness Month.

Throughout September, more than 170 sixth graders from across Alabama will go to a special camp.

"[We'll] teach them how to be first responders, and expose them to police service, and how to make a kit, and how to go back and talk to their friends and their schools and their church groups, and their families," state Homeland Security Director Jim Walker said.

The program teaches basics, like first aid and survival skills, but also delves into terrorism awareness and creating disaster plans.

Governor Riley says with the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina--and with the Enterprise tornado looming in the background--the impact of the program is substantial.

"You begin to understand that we can make a huge difference in people's lives," Riley explained.

With a little foresight, residents will be ready.

"Just a few minutes of preparation can make a huge impact," Riley said.

In order for the campaign to be successful, Riley suggests Alabamians should plan in advance, creating disaster kits with enough food and water to last for at least three days.

If everyone works to accomplish that goal, Riley believes Alabama will be in much better shape when disaster strikes.

Reported by:  Cody Holyoke