Know your risk; prepare for severe weather

Severe weather is unpredictable, but you can prepare for it.

During National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are joining together to deliver this message: know your risk, take proactive emergency preparedness measures and inspire others to do the same.

“Start by knowing your risk,” said Andrew Velasquez III, FEMA regional administrator. “Then, take action by making your emergency plans and once you are prepared, encourage friends and neighbors to be prepared too.”

NOAA and FEMA encourage citizens to prepare for extreme weather by following these guidelines:

– Know your risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand how hazardous weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter planning should include all types of local hazards.

– Take action: Develop an emergency plan and practice how and where to take shelter before a severe weather event. Create or refresh an emergency kit with food, supplies and medication that will be needed by you and your family after a disaster. Post your plan in your home where family and visitors can see it. Obtain an NOAA Weather Radio. Download FEMA’s mobile app so you can access important safety tips on what to do before and during severe weather. Understand the weather warning system or become a certified storm spotter through the National Weather Service.

– Be an example: Once you have taken action, tell your family, friends, school staff and co-workers about how they can prepare. Share the resources and alert systems you discovered with your social media network. Studies show that individuals need to receive messages a number of ways before acting – be one of those sources. When you seek shelter after a warning, text, tweet or update your status so your friends and family will know you are safe. You might just save their lives by encouraging others to seek safety too. For more information on how you can prepare for severe weather, visit

“By taking these easy steps, you will be prepared for any type of disaster,” said Velasquez.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources.

FEMA’s mission is to support citizens and first responders to ensure that the nation works together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

To help people cope with severe weather, the federal government has enhanced, a one-stop shop for preparedness.