Most states across the U.S. set aside a week in February or March to observe their own local Severe Weather Awareness week , but NOAA, FEMA and others will be promoting National Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 2-8, 2014.
As we’ve seen year after year, March brings all kinds of wild weather and chaos like thunderstorms, tornadoes, high winds and flooding. And there are still chances of snow storms and hard freezes in various parts of the country so we all need to be prepared for Mother Nature’s mood swings.
The goal of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is to inform the public about severe weather hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to prepare and take action. These actions can be used to save lives anywhere – at home, in schools, and in the workplace before extreme weather strikes. As NOAA says… Be a Force of Nature by knowing your risk, taking action and being an example where you live.
Facts & Figures
In 2013, there were seven weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. These events included five severe weather and tornado events, a major flood event, and the western drought/heat wave. Overall, these events killed 109 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted.
Globally, losses from natural catastrophes in 2013 were somewhat moderate: the direct overall losses of around US$125bn remained below the average of the past ten years (US$184bn) according to Munich Re. Sadly, in a total of 880 major disasters around the world in 2013, more than 20,000 people were killed, but this figure is significantly below the average of the past ten years (106,000).
Take the Next Step
NOAA and FEMA’s Be a Force of Nature: Take the Next Step campaign encourages the public to take a single preparedness action during each day of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
For example, according to NOAA’s Social Media Plan, daily themes include…
- Sunday, March 2nd – National Severe Weather Preparedness Week Launch
- Monday, March 3rd – Know your Severe Weather Risk
- Tuesday, March 4th – Build an Emergency Kit
- Wednesday, March 5th – Make an Emergency Plan
- Thursday, March 6th – Emergency Alert Warnings
- Friday, March 7th – Be a Force of Nature – Take Action
- Saturday, March 8th – Summary
In addition to the below educational resources, visit NOAA’s online toolkit page to find some materials, social media tools, a poster and more to help spread the word during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
Flood and Tsunami Awareness Weeks also in March
March 16 – 22, 2014 is National Flood Awareness week intended to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property.
Visit www.nws.noaa.gov/floodsafety/ orwww.nws.noaa.gov/floodsafety/floodsafe.shtml to find tools, tips, brochures, videos and more.
And Tsunami Awareness Week is March 23 – 29, 2014 is designed to help cities, towns, counties, universities and other large sites in coastal areas reduce the potential for disastrous tsunami-related consequences using National Weather Service’s TsunamiReady program. Learn more at www.tsunamiready.noaa.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mold cleanup tips
EPA’s 20-page guide, “Mold, Moisture and Your Home”
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety Flood page
Ready Campaign flood safety awareness page
THUNDERSTORM and LIGHTNING Resources
National Weather Service Lightning Safety site
NWS Lightning Safety Tools for Teachers
Ready Campaign Thunderstorms & Lightning page
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety Tornado page
Or visit your state or local Emergency Management, Health, Fire, Police or Sheriff department’s website to find local emergency information, safety tips and tools to help you and your loved ones prepare for severe weather outbreaks.
Also learn more about our collaborative Public-Private Partnership ideas associated with our customizable book to help fund volunteers and first responders and educate local communities while saving them money! It’s a whole community approach to resilience and preparedness and can complement your Awareness campaigns. Read more