The Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are teaming up to promote National Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 3-9. Sponsored by FEMA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Severe Weather Preparedness Week encourages individuals, families, businesses and communities to know about severe weather risks, take action to prepare for them, and Be a Force of Nature by encouraging others to get prepared.
Each year, many people are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and other types of severe weather, despite advance warning. In 2012, there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries nationwide. Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual in every region. Because of this, we are calling on you to Be a Force of Nature and lead others to preparedness.
“Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives,” said Phil May, FEMA Regional Administrator. “Preparedness means understanding that disasters can happen without notice, and being prepared is the only way to take care of yourself and members of your family when severe weather strikes.”
“Alabama has such a unique weather pattern, with a potential for it to be dangerous,” said Art Faulkner, AEMA Director. “That is why it’s important for Alabamians to take advantage of any opportunity to prepare themselves and their families for severe weather."
Here are a few simple steps you can take to be prepared:
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, get 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 Force of Nature by taking the pledge to prepare at www.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 in your local community to help others prepare.
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. 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 important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provides the perfect platform to model preparedness actions for others.
More information and ideas on how you can Be a Force of Nature can be found at www.Ready.gov/severe-weather. Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding is available at www.weather.gov and www.Ready.gov or the Spanish-language website www.listo.gov.