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April 13, 2023

Spring has sprung and that means the likelihood for severe weather has also increased.

States across the country are holding "Severe Weather Awareness Week" (SWAW). 

Midland Radio's Meteorologist, Bruce Jones is breaking down the importance of Severe Weather Awareness Week.

WHAT IS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK

What is SWAW? 

Because spring is the season featuring the most severe weather, most states have a Severe Weather Awareness Week (“SWAW”) sometime between February and May.  It differs by state because seasonal warmth starts in the south and moves northward as spring progresses. 

February tornadoes are normal in Mississippi, but in North Dakota, you might not see a tornado until late April. 

In February, while Mississippi is highlighting its SWAW, folks in North Dakota are still shoveling snow, so tornadoes won’t be on their minds until things warm up.

Most states, yours included, will have a SWAW…sometime.

PREPARING FOR SEVERE WEATHER

It’s common to put off preparedness because it’s uncomfortable, it costs money, and it’s a bit of a “downer” to even think about. 

But because America has the worst weather on Earth, please make this the year you improve your odds of surviving, and avoiding inconveniences, should disaster strike.

HAVE A PLAN

Every state has had tornadoes…even Alaska. 

Hilly or mountainous areas are more prone to flash floods.

The Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines get hurricanes, the mountainous west fights wildfires, and just about every state gets severe thunderstorms.

America has every type of disaster, so know your risks and plan accordingly. If you need to evacuate, could you?  If you lose electricity, can you get by? If you need help, do you know who to call? If your neighborhood was destroyed, where would your family rendezvous and where would you go? 

To learn your local severe weather risks, visit the websites of the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, or your state or county Emergency Manager. 

Understand your risks and make a plan that addresses your area’s disasters. 

BUILD A KIT

Even the most basic collection of emergency supplies will give you confidence that you can make it through some troubled times. 

I suggest buying one item per month and dropping it into an old pillowcase or backpack, which you keep in the hall closet. Add a new item each month and in no time you’ll have greatly increased your family’s preparedness and your own self-confidence.   

Here are 10 items to have in your emergency go kit:

  • Flashlight
  • Whistle
  • Dust Mask
  • Local Maps
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Battery-Powered or Hand Crank Emergency Radio
  • Books, Games, Puzzles, Activities for Kids
  • Fist Aid Kit
  • Supplies for Your Pet
  • Wrench or Pliers

MULTIPLE, REDUNDANT ALERTING METHODS

Have multiple, redundant ways to receive warnings, so you never have all your eggs in one basket.

Cellphones are handy, but if the cell tower nearest you gets destroyed, damaged or overloaded, your phone is as good as dead. Don’t rely on just one thing.

Outdoor sirens are really meant to only be heard outdoors. They also are expensive to maintain so some emergency managers are opting to apply for funding that would cover the cost 

It's best to have a combination of methods like a NOAA Weather Radio, cellphone, and emergency radio.

NOAA WEATHER RADIO

NOAA Weather Radio is the official “Voice of the National Weather Service”, delivering life-saving alerts the moment they are issued. Nothing is faster. 

FOR HOME- WR120 NOAA WEATHER RADIO

The WR120 is the perfect NOAA Weather Radio to keep at home as it's the gold standard of NOAA Weather Radios. 

With S.A.M.E. EZ localized programming, you will get the latest weather information for your area. 

The WR120 alerts users to over 60 kinds of weather hazards and emergencies. 

As soon as the National Weather Service issues a watch or warning, the WR120 will alert users, giving the time needed to seek shelter. 

 

FOR EVACUATION/LOSS OF POWER/OUTDOORS- ER40 EMERGENCY CRANK RADIO

If you live an area where evacuations are common- hurricanes and wildfires, are worried about power outages from storms, or are trekking through the outdoors, the ER40 is sure to help keep you safe.

Fit with a flashlight that has an SOS Strobe, the ER40 packs multiple emergency go kit items into one product. The ER40 also has AM/FM radio, clock, and backlit LCD to help navigate low-lit areas.

If you're traveling or lose power, don't fret. The ER40 has multiple power sources like a lithium rechargeable battery, solar panel, micro USB cable, and a hand crank.

Featuring a wrist lanyard, the ER40 is easy to transport.

 

  


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