March 03, 2013
The facts and what you can do to be weather ready
National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is March 3-9, 2013. This year’s theme is “Be a Force of Nature.” In their efforts to raise public awareness about the importance of severe weather preparedness, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are partnering to urge everyone nationwide to know the risk of severe weather in their area, take action to prepare in advance and share their severe weather preparedness information with others.
Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide event. No one is immune to severe weather-. Severe weather risks include tornadoes, flash floods, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and nor’easters. Recent severe winter weather and unseasonal tornado outbreaks remind us that dangerous weather can occur any time and anywhere.
More than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries were reported in 2012. Tornadoes struck nearly every state, causing over $1.6 billion in damage and 70 fatalities. There were more than 935 tornadoes in 2012, with 206 in April alone. Even though April and May are the peak tornado months, we need to prepare for the potential tornadoes that can occur at any time of the year. It’s important to understand that severe weather knows no boundaries and affects us all.
What can you do to “be a force of nature?”
The first step is knowing your risk. Familiarize yourself with the type of hazardous weather that can affect your home, family and workplace. Tornadoes and severe weather happen in every U.S. state so everyone is under some degree of risk.
The next step is to prepare for severe weather in advance. Taking action before and at the time of severe weather saves lives. Put together an emergency supply kit and occasionally check any expiration dates to keep food and water supplies safe. Protect important documents and valuables in a safe place such as a waterproof box. Make a severe weather emergency plan for your family and practice where you’ll go or meet if severe weather strikes.
Buy a Midland weather alert radio for your home and office. Weather alert radios transmit emergency alerts and severe weather warnings from NOAA and the National Weather Service. Weather alert radio are available in desktop, portable and emergency crank models. Midland weather alert radios keep people safe, aware and protected during severe weather or other emergency situations—especially when all else fails like cell service and electricity.
Finally, be a role model. Tell your friends and family about the risk and how to be prepared. Social media outlets like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are great places to get the word out. Often the real "first responders" to an emergency aren’t the police, firemen or EMTs. They are moms and dads, coworkers, neighbors and teachers. Their knowledge and response before, during, and after an emergency can save lives.