Severe Weather Awareness Week

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Release date: 
April 23, 2012
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PHILADELPHIA, PA - As the nation marks the first anniversary of one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are teaming up this week to prepare the public and help save lives from severe weather.

The two agencies encourage the public nationwide and in FEMA Region III, to "know your risk, take action, and be a force of nature" by taking proactive preparedness measures and inspiring others to do the same.  While the type and severity of threats vary across the 10 FEMA Regions, the need to be prepared is universal.

Last April, tornadoes raked the central and southern United States, spawning more than 300 tornadoes and claiming hundreds of lives. That devastating, historic outbreak was only one of many weather-related tragedies in 2011, which now holds the record for the greatest number of multi-billion dollar weather disasters in the nation's history. 

In late August, 2011 strong hurricane activity in FEMA Region III produced devastating storms such as Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. These two storms rocked communities due to widespread inland flooding, left their lingering and residual effects resulting one of the Region’s largest long term recovery missions.

Additionally, and almost simultaneously, FEMA Region III felt the impact of a multi-state earthquake that is still producing aftershock events still being felt in some areas. The earthquake reminded everyone that severe weather is unpredictable and that we must plan for every type of weather event.  

"Severe weather can happen at any time and often with little or no notice." said FEMA Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. "We can’t control where and when severe weather will hit but we can control how prepared we are as individuals and communities.  By taking the time during Severe Weather Awareness Week to know your community’s risk, and plan accordingly, you are taking the first steps toward empowering yourself to become your own emergency manager," added Tierney.

To "be a force of nature," FEMA and NOAA encourage citizens to 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. Check the weather forecast regularly and sign up for alerts from your local emergency management officials. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
  • Take action: Pledge to develop an
Last Updated: 
July 19, 2012 - 23:02
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