INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- As southern Indiana residents recover from recent severe storms, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) urge all Hoosiers to join in observing National Severe Weather Preparedness Week April 22 through 28.
FEMA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are sponsoring the initiative, which is a nationwide effort designed to increase awareness of the severe weather that affects everyone and to encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to know their risks, take action and be examples.
Many people are killed or seriously injured every year by tornadoes and other types of severe weather, despite advance warning. This year, 13 people were killed when severe storms assaulted southern Indiana. In 2011, more than 1,000 weather-related fatalities and more than 8,000 injuries occurred nationwide. Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual. Because of this FEMA and NOAAA are challenging everyone to Be a Force of Nature. An important element of the campaign is communication with family and neighbors about preparedness.
Studies show that many people use social media during disasters to let neighbors and others know they are safe. This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provide a useful platform to model preparedness actions for others. For this reason, FEMA and NOAA urge everyone to take the following steps:
Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take Action: Be a Force of Nature by taking the pledge to prepare at Ready.gov/severe-weather. When you pledge to prepare, you will take the first step to making sure that you and your family are
prepared for severe weather. This includes developing a family communication plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved. Visit the IDHS website at getprepared.in.gov and Ready.gov/severe-weather for more on family preparedness for severe weather.
Be an Example: Once you have taken action and pledged, share your story with your family and friends. Create a YouTube video, post your story on Facebook, comment on a blog, or send a tweet.
Information on the types of severe weather that occur in Indiana is available on the IDHS website at getprepared.in.gov. Additional information is available at www.weather.gov and www.ready.gov/severeweather or the Spanish-language web site www.listo.gov.
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 against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.