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As the nation marks the first anniversary of one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are teaming up by naming the week of 22-28 April 2012 “National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.”

NOAA and FEMA encourage the public nationally to “know your risk, take action, and be a force of nature” by taking proactive preparedness measures and inspiring others to do the same.

While the type and severity of threats vary across FEMA‘s 10 Regions, the need to be prepared is universal.

As stated earlier, National Severe Weather Preparedness Week coincides with the one year anniversary of the deadly tornado outbreak in the central and southern states of the U.S..  Just one month later, Joplin, Missouri was devastated by a tornado.   In 2011, there were more than 1,000 weather-related fatalities and more than 8,000 injuries.

Again and as stated on the FEMA/NOAA website, this nationwide preparedness effort encourages people to:

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 affect you and your family.  Check the weather forecast regularly and sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials.  Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action: Be a ‘Force of Nature’ by taking the pledge to prepare at FEMA’s website.  When you pledge to prepare, you will take the first step to making sure you and your family are prepared for severe weather.  This includes developing a family communications plan, putting an emergency supply kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.

Be an Example:  Once you’ve taken action and pledged, share your story with your family and friends.  Create a YouTube video, post your story on Facebook or send a tweet.

Given the level of importance that severe weather preparedness plays in all organizational risk management and business continuity planning, our staff encourages your BC/DR team members to follow the activities associated with this event and where applicable bring that information back to your organizations to assist their efforts in mitigating one of their most important threats to keeping their doors open for business.    And if your organization is in the private sector, please pass this info along to those PS-Prep strategy planning team members as well.

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