This Is Severe Weather Awareness Week

Monday, 25 February 2019

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announcedTennessee's Severe Weather Awareness Week is Feb. 24 to March 2, 2019, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Association of Broadcasters (TAB), and the National Weather Service (NWS) are asking Tennesseans to make severe weather planning and preparedness a priority.
“Severe weather, natural disasters, and man-made threats can happen anytime and increase in magnitude without warning,” Gov. Lee said. “Tennesseans can prepare now for floods, severe weather, and tornadoes so they can be ready to take life-saving actions to protect themselves and their families should the need arise.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s Severe Weather Awareness Week Proclamation is at: https://tnsos.net/publications/proclamations/files/1624.pdf.
 
NWS Awareness and Education Events
NWS offices in Nashville, Memphis, Morristown, and Huntsville, Ala. are planning a series of education and training events, using each day of Severe Weather Awareness Week to focus on a different severe weather threat. Information on the NWS activities is available at www.weather.gov/ohx/swaw2019.
 
"Severe Weather Awareness Week is a time when Tennesseans are encouraged to begin and/or evaluate their family's severe weather safety plan,” said Krissy Hurley, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “Knowing what to do during severe weather while at work, school, or play is the ultimate key in survival and safety. Because it's not if severe weather will strike Tennessee, it's merely a question of when."
A highlight of the week will be the statewide tornado drill NWS will conduct at 9:30 a.m., CST, on Wed., Feb. 27, 2019. The drill will also include a statewide test of NOAA weather radios.
 
 
Severe Weather Situational Awareness
 
TAB is urging Tennesseans to make sure they have multiple ways to receive weather information and updates, as well as public alerts and warnings when a flood, tornado, or other threat is imminent.
 
“Tennessee’s broadcasters take severe weather, and any threat that risks human life, seriously when we coordinate with local, state, and federal officials to activate the Emergency Alert System,” said Whit Adamson, TAB president.
TAB recommends thinking about how you will receive severe weather alerts and warnings at home, at the office, and when you are on the road. NOAA Weather Radio, broadcast radio and television mobile applications, and a and a variety of weather-specific mobile platforms can serve as alternate and back-up resources to notify citizens when to take protective actions in severe weather emergencies.
 
 
TEMA’s ReadyTN mobile application, available for Apple and Android devices, provides emergency preparedness, response, and recovery information, with features including:
 
• Basic emergency kit checklists and emergency checklists for special populations;
• Detailed descriptions and information on the major hazards in Tennessee;
• Notices of public alerts and warnings issued in Tennessee;
• A regional list of local emergency management agency contacts by county;
• Traffic updates from the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s SmartWay resource;
• Information on American Red Cross shelters that may be open near their locations in emergency situations; and,
• Immediate visual notification on TEMA’s operational status and whether a State of Emergency exists.
 
 
A complete list of ReadyTN’s features, as well as direct links to download, is available on TEMA’s website at www.tn.gov/ready-tn.html.
 
Severe Weather Preparedness Tips
 
TEMA’s website includes an emergency preparedness section at https://www.tn.gov/tema/prepare.html, with practical information on creating emergency
 
 
plans for yourself and your family, emergency planning for children, the top threats in Tennessee, local contact information for county-level emergency management agencies, and an area devoted to active shooter preparedness.
 
 
“TEMA wants to ensure Tennesseans are prepared for any man-made, natural, or technological hazards or disasters,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “Severe weather, especially tornadoes, can occur any time in Tennessee, even though they are most common during the spring months of March, April, and May. Tennesseans and our visitors can learn how to understand the weather, ensure they have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings, and plan to get themselves and their loved ones to safety when severe weather warnings are issued."
 
 
Some basic severe weather advice includes:
 
• Never venture into high water, either on foot or in a vehicle.
• If you’re outside and hear thunder, go indoors immediately.
• Go to a basement or an innermost, first floor room in your home if you’re told to take shelter during a tornado warning.
• Know the location of and route to your office or building’s tornado shelter.
• Never try to outrun a tornado.
• Have an emergency plan ready at places where your family spends time – work, school, daycare, commuting and outdoor events.
• Emergency plans should include where to meet, and who family members should check in with, if you are separated from family members during a severe weather emergency.
 
 
At a minimum, emergency preparedness kits should include one gallon of water per-day, per-person, and per-pet, for three to five days. The kit should also have enough non-perishable food for each family member, and pets, for three to five days.
Other items that every kit should include: flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, cell phone charger or solar charger, copies of important family documents, and extra supplies of medications, especially for those with chronic health conditions.
 
 
A number of websites have resources to help individuals and families create emergency plans. The website, https://www.ready.gov/, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/, have information, fill-in-the-blank
documents, and other resources to help individuals and families assemble the basic components for personal emergency plans.
 
 
The U.S. Small Business Administration has emergency preparedness information for businesses at www.sba.gov/managing-business/running-business/emergency-preparedness. The Ready website also includes a workplace preparedness section at https://www.ready.gov/workplace-plans.