As a committed leader for weather-readiness, FEMA will be highlighting ways individuals can Be a Force of Nature by knowing the risk, taking action to prepare, and serving as an example.
Sponsored by FEMA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort to increase awareness of severe weather and to motivate individuals, families, businesses, and communities to take actions that will prepare them in the event of severe weather.
In the West, we experience a wide range of severe weather: from winter storms bringing wind, snow and ice, to wildfire and flash flood events. Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual. Each year, individuals are killed or seriously injured by severe weather, despite advance warning. Nationally in 2012, there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries.
“Take action now to prepare yourself, friends and family before severe weather strikes,” said FEMA Region VIII Administrator Robin Finegan. “Know your risk – whether it’s wildfires, floods or severe weather – and make a plan to ensure your safety.”
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 knowing how the weather could impact you and your family. Every state in the United States has experienced severe weather, so everyone is exposed to some degree of risk. Check the weather forecast regularly and visit ready.gov/severe-weather to learn how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family during emergencies.
Pledge and 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 filling out your family communications plan that you can email to yourself, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.
Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio. Also, check to see if your cell phone is equipped to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts and if so, sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials. Stay informed by having multiple sources for weather alerts – NOAA Weather Radio, Weather.gov, and Wireless Emergency Alerts. Subscribe to receive alerts at Email and SMS Updates.
Be an Example: Once you have taken action to better prepare, 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. Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe. This is an effective practice because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provides the perfect platform to demonstrate preparedness actions for others.
For more information and ideas on how you can Be a Force of Nature check out www.Ready.gov/severe-weather. Information on the different types of severe weather that may impact you, such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding, is available at www.weather.gov and ready.gov/severe-weather or the Spanish-language web site www.listo.gov.
Will you help your community be better prepared for severe weather? Remember the three simple steps: know the risk, take action to prepare, and serve as an example. Use this year’s Severe Weather week, March 3-9, 2013, as an opportunity to show that you can Be a Force of Nature.