How You Can "Be A Force of Nature" in Face of Disaster

By Shaunda Rauch on March 19, 2014 from Emergency Services Blog via

Severe weather can strike anywhere at any time. Thunderstorms and lightningflash floodstornadoes and even winter storms can devastate our community – in some cases with little notice. Do you know how to protect yourself, family and pets from severe weather?
This year’s theme for National Severe Weather Preparedness (NSWP) Week (March 2-8) is Be a Force of Nature: Take the Next Step.
Being a force of nature means taking the proactive steps of knowing your risk, being prepared and taking appropriate actions before, during and after extreme weather.
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 … and warning lead times for the tornado outbreak averaged nearly 20 minutes, many in the impacted areas said they did not have a plan and were caught unprepared.
Here is what you can do to prepare:
Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example by sharing your knowledge and actions with your social network are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and save your life and others.
1.        KNOW YOUR RISK.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, storms – every state in the United States experiences severe weather.  While spring tends to produce more tornadoes, they’re not uncommon in fall.  On November 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!   Visit to get the latest on weather threats.
2.        TAKE ACTION.  Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a family communications plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and learning about Wireless Emergency Alerts. 
3.        BE AN EXAMPLE.  Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with family and friends on Facebook or Twitter.  Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.
Learn more at and  Follow the National Weather Service @nws and FEMA @readygov.  

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