State and federal emergency officials met Thursday to prepare for this year's hurricane season, which is predicted to be extremely active.
The emphasis on preparation before disasters strike is to help improve response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that was heavily criticized for its relief efforts from Hurricane Katrina two years ago.
"Part of rebuilding FEMA is making sure we have open communication, making sure we talk with the governors," said David Paulison, who replaced Mike Brown as FEMA director after the fallout from the Gulf Coast tragedy. "One of the biggest failures I saw in the aftermath of Katrina was a breakdown in communications. I'm going to make sure that part is fixed."
Paulison met with Gov. Sonny Perdue, Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Georgia homeland security officials to go over disaster plans for the state.
Speaking to reporters after the discussions, Perdue said the current FEMA "is a much different organization" that is in the midst of making preparation plans along with states that could be in the paths of hurricanes this year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted more than a dozen named storms during this year's hurricane season, which runs between June 1 and Nov. 30, with seven to 10 of those becoming hurricanes.
Perdue said he was concerned because Georgia has avoided the brunt of a major storm in recent years, and people could be complacent about making their own preparations, such as storing three-day supplies of food and supplies and discussing emergency plans with their families.