Tuesday, April 24, 2012

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

NOAA and FEMA have teamed up in the wake of last year's deadly severe weather in a campaign to inform and increase awareness among Americans about severe weather.  April 22nd-28th marks "National Severe Weather Preparedness Week", the first national-driven initiative to discuss safety and severe weather preparation in an attempt to help make folks aware of severe weather should it strike.

NOAA and FEMA encourage folks to be a "force of nature" through a number of proactive steps:

  • Know your risk:  Being aware and cognizant of the type of severe weather that can impact your locale and how it can impact you and your family.
  • Take action:  Develop a plan.  Create an emergency kit (bottled water, nonperishable food) and practice where and how to take shelter should severe weather strike.
  • Be a force of nature:  Actively promote what you're doing...when severe weather strikes, text or utilize social media to let people know that you're taking shelter as it may encourage others to follow suit if they are in the path of any particular storm.
The idea of a national severe weather campaign is a good one -- but it does provide a second round of awareness since states are already doing similar campaigns around severe weather awareness.  Pennsylvania's severe weather awareness week was the last week of March and focuses more on the different types of hazards that can result from severe weather and how to be prepared to deal with each of them.  Given this campaign is falling on the anniversary of the Alabama tornado outbreak last year, it might make more sense in the future to have a severe weather awareness week campaign earlier in the year...especially since severe weather outbreaks have occurred already in the Ohio Valley, South, Plains, and Texas on four separate events in February, March, and April.   That said, the more branding and awareness around safety and preparation the better!