FEMA & NOAA have launched their first ever National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, running now through April 28 – and for good reason. We’ve just had the 4th warmest winter with 15,000 records set in March, according to Paul Douglas, Founder of Weathernation TV. The warm, nearly snowless winter also set up the conditions for abnormal wildfires and one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history. Experts say that May is the peak month for tornadoes, so all preparedness measures including personal, community and business, need to be completed now.
Follow these extreme weather preparedness activities*:
- Know your risk: Understand the types of hazardous weather conditions that can affect you where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family.
- Take action: Develop an emergency plan based on your local weather hazards and practice how and where to take shelter. Create or refresh an emergency kit for needed food, supplies and medication. If severe weather is forecasted for your area, make sure to preemptively power up all battery operated devices, including mobile phones and flashlights. Download the CodeRED Mobile Alert so you can begin receiving severe weather warnings that impact your safety at your current location, without having to rely on hearing tornado sirens or having electricity to monitor local news broadcasts.
- Help others: Make sure your friends, family and co-workers are also prepared. Share your action items with them. If you are required to leave your home during a storm, make sure to let friends and family know your shelter location.
Recent tornadoes in parts of Iowa and Kansas are painful reminders that cities, states and residents need to have access to more than one method of communicating and receiving critical public safety information in the case of a real emergency. Tornado sirens are meant to be heard by those outdoors only. Power outages may prevent communities from watching weather reports on local television news stations.
CodeRED Weather Warning™ makes it easy to communicate critical weather warnings with residents who are in the direct path of the storm. Recent news articles have documented that CodeRED Weather Warnings were oftentimes received before tornado sirens were engaged, and in some cases, the Weather Warning notification alerted city officials to actually turn on storm sirens. Because the system automatically notifies subscribers within the direct path of the storm, as determined using advanced polygon technology, no human interaction is required to ensure messages are delivered in a highly efficient, targeted method.
With the CodeRED Mobile Alert app, subscribers will receive notifications of severe weather warnings directly to their mobile devices. The app is geo-aware and will only send notifications if the user may be impacted by the warning at their current location. The app was designed to serve as a public safety tool for the subscriber, no matter where their physical location was. Beyond severe weather warnings, subscribers will also receive any emergency, community or missing child alerts issued by the CodeRED community in their immediate location. Click here to download the FREE CodeRED Mobile Alert app today.
It’s time to take a good look at your personal and professional preparedness measures to ensure the safety of yourselves and loved ones is not left to chance. For more information from NOAA and FEMA on how to prepare for severe weather, visit www.ready.gov/severeweather.
*Preparedness tips were adapted from FEMA and NOAA’s “Be a Force of Nature” Extreme Weather Guidelines.