New York, NY, March 3, 2013 - Are you ready if severe weather strikes? To make certain that you do, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have partnered again this year for "National Severe Weather Preparedness Week," a campaign encouraging people across the country to "Be a Force of Nature" in their communities by preparing for severe weather and encouraging others to do so as well.
Starting today through March 9th, NOAA programs and FEMA are providing information on how you can help your friends and neighbors prepare for severe weather via a section of NOAA's U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) Web site, www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/force.html
. There, visitors will find a free online toolkit of outreach materials to use that includes a sample blog post, an Op-Ed, a presentation and more.
Severe weather is far more common than most realize. The five most dangerous severe weather hazards—tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, floods and winter storms, can be powerful and damaging. While spring is considered the height of season, severe weather occurs in every month of the year and in all 50 states. In 2012, there were more than 450 weather related fatalities and more than 2,600 injuries.
From New York to the National View: Forecasting Storms, How You Can Help
With Superstorm Sandy serving as a reminder last Fall, New York is no stranger to severe storms. For the last decade, New York Sea Grant (NYSG)—one of 33 in a nationwide network of coastal research, extension and education Sea Grant programs under NOAA—has provided principal funding to Stony Brook Univerity's (SBU) School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) Storm Surge Research Group to work on storm surge science, coastal defense systems and policy issues related to regional protection of New York City and Long Island. The Group was initially formed to develop coastal early warning system for emergency response against flooding in Metropolitan New York. Their studies, as well as other severe storm-related projects and educational resources, are available via a NYSG news archive at www.nyseagrant.org/hurricane
“Improvements in the accuracy and timeliness of forecasts and warnings, and the way we communicate weather threats are helping the public stay safe,” said Dr. Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Weather Service
. “But this information can save lives and property only if individuals and communities know when and how to take proper action. Preparing for severe weather is a component of building a Weather-Ready Nation
and is a national priority.”
“Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “We urge everyone to take steps in advance and to pledge to prepare, take action and share what you have done with others. You can find information on how to prepare for severe weather at Ready.gov
As NOAA and FEMA reinforce through their support of this week, every one of us can "Be a Force of Nature" and help our communities prepare for extreme weather by following these guidelines:
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. Every state in the United States has experienced tornadoes and severe weather, so everyone is exposed to some degree of risk. Check the weather forecast regularly and visit Ready.gov/severeweather to learn more about how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family when severe weather strikes.
Take Action, Pledge to Prepare: Be a Force of Nature by making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. Pledge to prepare at Ready.gov. Fill out your family communications plan that you can email to yourself, put together an emergency kit, and keep important papers and valuables in a safe place. Stay informed by having multiple sources for weather alerts such as a NOAA Weather Radio, Weather.gov, and Wireless Emergency Alerts. And, sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials.
Be an example: Once you have taken action Be a Force of Nature by telling family, friends, and co-workers to do the same. Share the resources and alert systems you discovered through your social media network. Create a preparedness video and post on a video sharing site; post your story through your social media network and comment on a blog. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be a good example and share the steps you took to help us achieve the vision of a Weather-Ready Nation.
Are you on Twitter? Help us spread the word and follow the conversation by using the hashtag #ImAForce. Follow @NOAA
, and @fema
NOAA also points out that in this age of ever-evolving technology, text messages and tweets about severe weather can save lives. However, *do not* put yourself in harm's way: PLEASE be sure you are safely sheltered before attempting to send or post messages about an impending severe weather event.
Some of the tweets and Facebook posts you're likely to see this week include:
New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University
and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based
programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP
engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting
scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed
to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our
aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated
services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental
sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great
Lakes resources since 1971.
For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org
has RSS, Facebook
, and YouTube
links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines
for NY Coastlines, its flagship publication, and Currents, its e-newsletter supplement, each distributed 3-4 times a year.