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Author: Helen Lowman
2015 was the second of two back-to-back years of record heat and 2016 looks to be no different.1  But even if you live in an area that hasn’t experienced a heat wave in the past, take the time now to educate yourself about how to protect your family if it does happen.Here are some things to make sure you’re ready.Know the alerts and warnings. The National Weather Service issues heat advisories and excessive heat warnings when unusual periods of hot weather are expected.Heat Outlooks: The potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days.Excessive Heat Watches...
Posted On: May 25, 2016
Author: Helen Lowman
Unlike most natural disasters, hurricanes rarely take us by surprise. There’s a season (June 1 – November 30) when forecasters can see hurricanes developing off the coast, hundreds of miles away, and  can track them as they move closer to land. However, when they hit, high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and even tornadoes are all part of the hurricane package that can really pack a punch. That’s why if you live in an area where hurricanes are a threat, now is the time to prepare. Watch this short animation about hurricane...
Posted On: May 19, 2016
Author: Helen Lowman
You’ve heard the expression “spread like wildfire,” right? Well, there’s a good reason for that. Wildfires can start in an instant – sometimes from a flash of lightning or the quick careless flick of a cigarette. And if that happens in the summertime or during a period when there’s been little to no rain then dry brush, grass, and trees can quickly fuel that fire.Wildfires can happen anywhere in the country so here are some things you should do to make sure you’re ready:Have a Go Bag with essential items you can grab-and-go because every minute counts...
Posted On: May 5, 2016
Author: Helen Lowman
I couldn’t believe it. The other day I was at my friend’s book club meeting in Seattle and people starting talking about disaster preparedness. Hearing the discussion actually filled me with joy.Why? Because my job as Director of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division is all about encouraging people to prepare for disasters. It’s a conversation too few Americans are having, so when I listened to my friends sharing their disaster preparedness strategies during our book club time, it made me smile.We’ve made tremendous progress but, still, more than...
Posted On: April 25, 2016
Author: Helen Lowman
Spring is a great time here in Washington, DC.  The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and it’s when I start packing away my winter clothes and preparing for warmer weather. However, with these temperature changes comes a threat many people aren’t prepared for: tornadoes.  They’re violent and fast-moving, and can arrive with little warning when one is about to strike.  That’s why it’s absolutely critical to be informed and know where to go for safety. Here are some things you can do right now to prepare.Sign up for local text alerts and...
Posted On: April 18, 2016
Author: Helen Lowman
Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere. It doesn’t matter where you live – on the coast, in a rural area or in a metropolitan city – we’re all at risk of being affected by a flood. What makes flooding dangerous is that it can happen quickly and often with very little warning – and the effects can be devastating if you’re not prepared. Here are a few important things all of us can do right now to be ready for a possible flood.Sign up for local weather alerts and warnings. Probably the most important thing is...
Posted On: April 12, 2016