Recently NOAA held their annual Hurricane Preparedness week to urge resident to get ready now. At the convention which took place May 27th through June 2nd, the National Weather Service and preparedness experts called upon Americans who live in areas vulnerable to severe weather and hurricanes to Be a Force of Nature. Each state in FEMA Region 6 (Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas) have been directly or indirectly affected by the devastation of extreme weather and hurricanes. The overall goal is to help people identify their vulnerabilities in order to reduce the damaging effects of a hurricane or other natural disaster by taking the necessary actions to prepare.Studies have recently shown that many people now rely on the use of social media to let relatives and friends know they are safe after a disaster. NOAA hopes to take advantage of this trend by getting people to encourage eachother to take preparedness steps. They hope that if they see the preparations taken by others, that others will also take similar preparedness actions. In summary, NOAA asks that you:
Know your risk – Understand how hurricanes, tropical storms, and other extreme weather can affect where you live, work, commute, etc. Then consider how such weather could pose a risk for you and your family. By understanding your risk, you are more apt to know how to prepare. During hurricane season, it is extra critical to regularly check weather forecasts and alerts from emergency management agencies. Having a NOAA Weather Radio is a critical recommendation. But be sure that it operates via alternate power options such as hand-crank and solar panel. Batteries expire and only last so long and electricity may be unavailable for weeks following a large storm.
Take action – Pledge to develop an emergency hurricane plan based on your own individual risk level and needs as per step #1. Practice where and how you and your family will evacuate if necessary. Perform some research on how you can improve your defense against hurricanes. Download FEMAs mobile emergency app to access important safety tips about what to do before, during, and after a hurricane. Be sure you know the different types of National Hurricane Center warning and alerts.
Be an Example – Post your plan where others can see it whether it be in your home or online. Share your story and pledge with your family and friends. You can even create a YouTube video and post it to our Facebook page.