By Alice Kenny
Wow. This was a close one. While more than a foot of snow was predicted to pummel New York today, the reality, thankfully, turned into just a dusting.
But as we learned this winter when more than five feet of snow pounded our homes, streets and sidewalks and temperatures dropped – and dropped again — into the single digits, severe weather can be just around the corner.
That’s why Catholic Charities is proud to support National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 2-8, 2014.
Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort designed to increase awareness of the severe weather that affects everyone and to encourage individuals, families’ businesses and communities to know their risk, take action, and be an example.
As we know firsthand from Hurricane Sandy, being prepared to act quickly can be a matter of survival. Even though severe weather was anticipated in advance, many in the impacted areas said they did not have a plan and were caught unprepared.
Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
- 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 impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts.
- Take Action: Before storms strike, develop a family communication plan and pull together an emergency supplies kit.
- Be an Example: Share your preparedness story with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Letting others know that you’re prepared will prompt them to prepare as well. Social media provides the perfect platform to model preparedness actions for others.
Being weather ready is a collective effort. It takes the whole community to effectively prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against damages caused by hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and other severe weather.