WASHINGTON -- FEMA is urging the Midwest and central United States to stay alert for severe weather risks this week. The National Weather Service is predicting intense and widespread severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes in some areas.
Remain alert, keep your cell phone charged and take steps to prepare now to potentially save lives and protect property when severe weather strikes.
Severe weather, that could include intense, long-track tornadoes, is expected to develop Tuesday and into the overnight hours across large portions of the United States including Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, northeast Texas and surrounding states.
Anyone living in these areas should take steps to prepare now ahead of the storms:
- Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA App (available in English and Spanish) to receive real-time emergency alerts from the National Weather Service and find a nearby shelter.
- Pay attention to local warnings and follow the safety guidance of your local officials.
- Make sure your emergency kit is stocked and includes non-perishable food, cash, charging devices, a flashlight and batteries in case of power outages.
- Consider needs you and your household members have. Check in with friends, family and neighbors to see if older adults and people with disabilities need assistance to prepare for the storm. Visit Ready.gov/older-adults and Individuals with Disabilities to get more tips and information.
- Don’t forget the needs of your pets. Many shelters do not take household pets, so remember to create a plan and have supplies available for your animals.
- Check on your neighbors. As you prepare your family and loved ones for a disaster, check on neighbors in your community to see if they are doing the same or if they might need help to get started.
- Prepare your property for dangerous weather by clearing out any large or loose materials. Remove dead trees, hanging branches and loose objects in your yard or patio that could be dangerous during severe winds.
- Create an emergency plan with your family. Use the new "Make a Plan" form to get started. You can easily save an electronic copy or share it with other family members.