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Author: Jim Stefkovich
When the majority of your entire 30+ year career stretches between Georgia and Texas, you unfortunately see a lot of damage, destruction and death from severe weather.  You see so much of it that it can become numbing, humbling and saddening.Still, nothing prepared me and National Weather Service (NWS) Birmingham for the events of April, 2011 and the weeks that followed.  The story actually begins on April 15, 2011, when 45 tornadoes occurred across Alabama along with 7 fatalities.  As a state, we all were still recovering when we realized a major and devastating outbreak of...
Posted On: March 7, 2013
Author: Rachel Little
Along with the advantages of witnessing the changing of New England’s beautiful seasons, residents must be ready to face a variety of severe weather conditions.  My name is Rachel Little, a member of the FEMA Youth Preparedness Council, and a resident of Massachusetts. My favorite part of living in New England is the variety of activities to do like skiing and snowboarding in the winter, swimming and visiting the beach in the summer and all within just a couple hours of where I live. While I love to enjoy the great outdoors, nor’easters, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes and flash...
Posted On: March 6, 2013
Author: Mark Cooper
When it comes to severe weather, you never know when a thunderstorm may spawn into a deadly, destructive tornado. Considering Walmart serves more than 140 million customers in more than 4,000 U.S. locations on a weekly basis, it’s safe to say we’ve seen our fair share of bad weather.Because of our size and scale, we cover a lot of territory and ride out a lot of storms with our fellow Americans. When there’s a weather warning, there’s usually a Walmart or Sam’s Club not too far in the distance. That’s why it’s extremely critical for us to ensure our stores and club associates know what to do...
Posted On: March 5, 2013
Author: Justin Dombrowski, John Maclean
With just a flicker of a match, a cigarette butt, or a lightning strike in the high country, fire takes its toll fast and with no regard for those in its path.These statistics, from last year alone, show how wildfires have a significant impact across the country:11 firefighters lost their lives67,774 wildfires burned 9.3 million acres -  that’s the second highest amount of acres burned over the last 10 years4,244 structures were destroyed, including 2,216 residences - well above the “average” yearAs weather becomes more extreme across the nation, so does the threat of fire.Fire seasons...
Posted On: March 4, 2013
Author: Lars Anderson
Today marks the official start of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. Partnering with NOAA, the campaign started in pursuit of a Weather-Ready Nation, and in hopes that people would take the action and the steps necessary to prepare for severe weather. We never know when severe weather may strike, that’s why it’s so important to prepare in advance.Every year, thousands of people are impacted by severe weather threats like tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Last year saw 250 weather-related fatalities and more than 2,600 injuries. Every state in the U.S. has experienced tornadoes and...
Posted On: March 4, 2013
Author: Lars Anderson
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.Severe Weather Preparedness WeekNext week marks the start of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week! All week, we’ll be providing the public with information about the threat of severe weather and the importance of being prepared for severe weather before it strikes. We’re asking people to pledge to prepare and be a force of nature by telling their family, friends and communities how...
Posted On: March 1, 2013
Author: Rich Serino
At FEMA and across the federal government, we recognize that in order to successfully support disaster survivors and meet the needs of the community, the whole community must work together as a team. A month ago, I wrote about some of the successes of bringing together government and non-government partners to solve challenges we faced in responding to Hurricane Sandy.  Recognizing our community partners is critical to the efforts to rebuild and recover. The White House is hosting a Champions of Change event to recognize individuals and organizations that provided truly remarkable and...
Posted On: February 25, 2013
Author: Lars Anderson
Winter weather continuesMarch may be right around the corner, but winter weather is still taking center stage.  We continue to closely monitor the impacts of the severe winter storm that’s affected much of the Central and Southern Plains for the last few days.  As the storm system moves further east, forecasts from the National Weather Service are calling for snow, sleet, and rain to impact much of the East Coast this weekend.  If you are in the path of the storm, make sure to stay up to date on your latest forecast at weather.gov or at mobile.weather.gov on your phone, and...
Posted On: February 22, 2013
Author: Paulette Aniskoff
I recently got a chance to meet with Al Roker of the Today Show to talk about preparedness. Al reports on weather and disasters, so being prepared is something he often talks about.  He was getting ready to shoot a preparedness video for Ready.gov, and in case you haven’t seen it yet, take 30 seconds to check it out:Before Al filmed that great video, we had a chance to walk through some of the communities damaged by Hurricane Sandy and talk about why most American’s aren’t prepared for the disasters that can happen in their community, and a few simple things folks can do to be better...
Posted On: February 20, 2013
Author: Flat Stanley and Flat Stella
There has been some wacky weather in our neighborhood lately! One day it is cold and snowy, and the next day the weather is warm and stormy!   If you have seen our other blogs, you already know we’ve learned a lot about getting prepared for emergencies since coming to FEMA. Because the weather has been so unpredictable lately, we wanted to share some of the things we’ve done to get ready. Don’t forget, winter is only half over, and it will continue to be cold for a while.  We keep some winter things around at home and in the trunk of the car during these cold months –...
Posted On: February 20, 2013

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