WASHINGTON - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have partnered again this year for National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 3 to 9. During this week, NOAA and FEMA are calling on people across the country to Be a Force of Nature in their communities by preparing for severe weather and encouraging others to do so as well.
Severe weather is far more common than most people realize. The five most dangerous weather hazards -- tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, floods and winter storms, can be powerful and damaging. While spring is considered the height of the season, severe weather occurs in every month of the year. In 2012, there were more than 450 weather related fatalities and over 2,600 injuries.
“Improvements in the accuracy and timeliness of forecasts and warnings, and the way we communicate weather threats are helping the public stay safe,” said Dr. Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. “But this information can save lives and property only if individuals and communities know when and how to take proper action. Preparing for severe weather is a component of building a Weather-Ready Nation and is a national priority.”
“Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “We urge everyone to take steps in advance and to pledge to prepare, take action and share what you have done with others. You can find information on how to prepare for severe weather at Ready.gov.”
Be a Force of Nature - Every one of us has the potential to help our communities prepare for extreme weather by following these guidelines:
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. Every state in the United States has experienced tornadoes and severe weather, so everyone is exposed to some degree of risk. Check the weather forecast regularly and visit Ready.gov/severeweather to learn more about how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family when severe weather strikes.
Take Action, Pledge to Prepare: Be a Force of Nature by making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. Pledge to prepare at Ready.gov. Fill out your family communications plan that you can email to yourself, put together an emergency kit, and keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Stay informed by having multiple sources for weather alerts such as a NOAA Weather Radio, Weather.gov, and Wireless Emergency Alerts. And, sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials.
Be an example: Once you have taken action, Be a Force of Nature by telling family, friends, and co-workers to do the same. Share the resources and alert systems you discovered through your social media network.
Create a preparedness video and post on a video sharing site; post your story through your social media network and comment on a blog. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be a good example and share the steps you took to help us achieve the vision of a Weather-Ready Nation.
Join us today and pledge to prepare for the severe weather in our area.
In partnership, NOAA and FEMA have developed a tool kit that can be found at ready.gov/severeweather that includes key information related to severe weather. Each day of severe weather week, NOAA and FEMA will share key information on preparedness such as how to develop an emergency plan, what to include in a plan, tips to better understand a forecast, and steps to recovery through our social channels. Follow us today.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels at social media channels.
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.