Being prepared to act quickly could be a matter of survival. This is especially evident during the threat of severe weather. The deadliest and most destructive tornado of 2013, an EF-5 on May 20 in Moore, Oklahoma, and caused more than $2 billion in property damage. Even though severe weather was anticipated days in advance, many in the impacted areas said they did not have a plan and were caught unprepared.
While spring tends to produce more tornadoes, they're not uncommon in fall. On Nov. 17, a late season tornado outbreak that struck seven Midwestern states became the most active tornado day of 2013 with a total of 74 tornadoes.
Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
HeaterMeals has proudly served agencies, first responders, and state and local government emergency response groups since 1997, and continues to be an advocate and educator of preparedness for both businesses and the general public.
Severe weather could happen at any time, anywhere. Even though severe weather events are often forecasted for days in advance, and alerts are broadcasted to give people as much time as possible to get to safety, there is no substitute for having a plan and being prepared. With just a few steps, you can save your life and the lives of others.
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, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take Action: Before storms strike, develop a family communication plan, and create or purchase an emergency supplies kit.
Be an Example: Share your preparedness story with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Letting others know that you’re prepared will prompt them to prepare as well. Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe. This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provides the perfect platform to model preparedness actions for others.
Being weather ready is a collective effort. It takes the whole community to effectively prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against damages caused by tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and other severe weather.
HeaterMeals is proud to support the goals of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. By preparing our communities, we are able to build a Weather-Ready Nation – one that is resilient in the face of extreme weather.
Tim Zimmerman, President
Tim Zimmerman, President