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What We’re Watching: 3/9/12

At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Weather Outlook

A new storm in the Pacific Northwest will produce valley rain and mountain snow across western Washington. Snow melt resulting from a strong warming trend could bring flooding this weekend to much of the Northern Rockies and Intermountain West. Winds from 15-30 mph are expected across much of Montana, with gusts over 40 mph in the Chinook areas. These strong winds, combined with low relative humidity, will result in critical fire weather conditions today across much of north-central Montana.

A clipper-like system in the Midwest is expected to bring snow from the upper peninsula of Michigan off into much of the northeastern U.S. A Red Flag Warning is in effect today for western and north-central Nebraska as a result of strong winds and low relative humidity.

Update on Tornado Response

FEMA continues to support efforts of state, tribal and local officials in states impacted by severe storms and tornadoes Feb. 28 – March 3. President Obama declared a major disaster declaration, on Tuesday, for the Commonwealth of Kentucky making federal disaster aid available aid to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the recent storms. Residents and business owners in the designated Kentucky counties who sustained losses can apply for assistance by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments are ongoing in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

National Flood Safety Week

We’re teaming up with NOAA again to bring you National Flood Safety Awareness Week 2012. Starting next week, March 12 -16 we’ll share information on flood risks, how individuals, families, and businesses can take precautions to protect their families and homes in the event of flooding and safety tips on what to do before, during, and after flooding.

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, but there are simple steps citizens can take today to reduce their risk to all types of floods. Head over to www.ready.gov/floods for information on floods and make sure to check back next week for the start of Flood Safety Awareness Week.

Clocks Spring Forward on Sunday

Remember, on Sunday we spring forward an hour for Daylight Savings – it’s also a great reminder to make sure you have a working smoke alarm in your home. Smoke alarms significantly increase your chances of surviving a deadly home fire, so we encourage everyone to take these simple steps to be prepared:


  • Test and clean your smoke alarms today and on the first of every month
  • Replace the batteries at least once a year
  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence and in every bedroom
  • Check the manufacture/expiration date on the smoke alarm (yes, smoke alarms have expiration dates)
  • Practice your family’s fire escape plan

For more information about home smoke alarms and fire sprinklers, visit www.usfa.dhs.gov/smokealarms.

Watches & Warnings – What’s the Difference?

As we head into spring, and severe weather and storms become more active, we wanted to ensure that everyone understood the difference between a severe weather watch and warning. Watch this video from our friends at NOAA explaining the difference between severe weather watches and warnings.

Last Updated: 
06/16/2012 - 14:50

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