At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.
According to the National Weather Service, there’s a mix of winter weather in store for parts of the country this weekend. Parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes should expect cold temperatures this weekend, particularly Sunday. Heavy rain and mountain snow is also expected for parts of Oregon, Northern California and Northern Idaho. Heavy rain is forecasted for parts of Central and Southern Texas through Monday and lastly, high winds for the down-sloping regions of the Northern High Plains on Sunday.
Spring Forward and Check Your Smoke Alarm
This Sunday, it’s time to change the clocks for Daylight Savings Time and spring forward. While you’re fixing the time on the clocks in your house, take the opportunity to check that the batteries are working on your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Remember, a properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Severe Weather Preparedness Week Wrap-Up
All week long, we’ve been sharing severe weather stories, preparedness information, safety tips, and encouraging everyone to learn the severe weather hazards that affect your area and take steps to ensure you’re prepared against them.
One of the stories we shared came from Shane Cohea, Director of Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness for the Norman Regional Health System, who shared his experience from last May when EF-4 and an EF-5 tornadoes struck his hometown of Moore, Okla. As the Director of Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness, it was Shane’s responsibility to ensure the hospital had an emergency plan in place and on May 20, 2013 with an EF-5 tornado was headed directly towards the hospital, his plan was put to the test.
Here’s a piece of his story:
For the past 15 years, I have been coaching, leading, and requiring Norman Regional Health System’s 2,500 employees to have a plan to protect themselves and our patients. At the time we had 3 hospitals: Moore Medical Center (MMC) in Moore, Okla. and 2 hospitals 8 miles south in Norman, Okla. Normally, my family travels the 20 miles with me to the hospital command center. This was not the case on that day in May. As I sat alone in the quiet hospital command center, dreadful words came from the live weather updates on TV. A massive, deadly tornado touches down in Norman, Okla., only a couple of miles east of our main hospital (Norman Regional Hospital), where I am working.
You can read all of Shane’s story on our blog.
We want to thank everyone who helped us spread the word and encourage severe weather preparedness this week. Just because the week is almost over, it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to share your severe weather stories or photos and inspire others to change. Be a force of nature and continue encouraging your family, friends, neighbor, and coworkers about the importance of preparing for severe weather.
Visit Ready.gov/severe-weather for more information on preparing for severe weather.
Video of the Week
Here’s a great video from Chelsey Smith about her experience surviving tornado. It’s a reminder of how preparedness can save lives. Chelsey established a response plan at a young age in Alabama at the encouragement of her parents. When a tornado passed through her neighborhood, her family remained safe and unharmed.