SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announce that they are partnering to increase awareness of the severe weather that affects everyone as well as encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to know their risk, take action, and be an example through NOAA's Be a Force of Nature pledge campaign (www.noaa.gov/wrn).
April 22 marks the start of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. In 2011 alone, there were more than 1,000 weather-related fatalities and more than 8,000 injuries. Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects the whole community.
Knowing your risk, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better 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 that weather could impact your family and your home.
- Take Action
Be a Force of Nature by taking the pledge to prepare at Ready.gov. When you pledge to prepare, you take the first step to making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. This includes developing a family communications plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.
- 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, or send a tweet. Post the Be a Force of Nature Widget on your social media profiles.
In this part of the country, our highest risk from severe weather is devastating floods. Every year, rivers throughout the area leave their banks and devastate homes and businesses. One of the most important steps people can take to protect themselves from being ruined by flooding is to buy flood insurance. Flood losses are not typically covered by standard homeowner's insurance policies. However, flood insurance is available to property owners in communities participating in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
You do not have to live in a floodplain to be able to buy flood insurance. In fact, over 20 percent of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low-risk areas. Individuals can learn more about flood insurance at FloodSmart.gov or by calling 1-888-379-9531.
Join FEMA and NOAA today, and pledge to be prepared for the severe weather in your area.
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.