NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While Tennessee winters are generally mild, severe storms are possible. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), encourage Tennesseans to prepare an emergency storm kit, make a disaster plan, and stay informed about approaching winter weather.
"Mid-South weather can get ugly at times, so we're encouraging folks to always be prepared," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech. "Tennessee had a disaster declaration in '94 when a strong winter storm blew through. Kentucky had a bad ice storm just last year."
Severe winter storms in Tennessee can mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as heavy rains, ice, strong winds, or even tornados. One of the primary concerns is winter weather's ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. FEMA recommends that everyone:
Get a Kit:
- Put together an emergency home supply kit:
- Non-perishable food and water;
- A battery-powered or hand-crank radio; and
- Extra flashlights and batteries.
- Add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:
- Rock salt to melt ice on walkways, and sand to improve traction;
- Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment; and
- Include adequate clothing and blankets to keep warm.
- Create a similar kit for your car.
Make a Plan:
- Make a family emergency plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you contact one another? How you will get back together?
- Agree on an out-of-town contact to put family members back in touch if you do get separated. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town.
- Inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
- Arrange to have your home and car properly winterized.
- Review safety devices/measures around your home: Are supplemental heaters in good repair; portable generators serviced; fire extinguishers and smoke detectors working?
- Know what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.
- Stay alert for changing weather conditions.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio and television stations, or cable outlets such as The Weather Channel for timely updates.
- Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class.
- Learn about the State of Tennessee's emergency plans by visiting tnema.org
- Visit READY.gov for additional preparedness suggestions and resources.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect...