Today marks the beginning of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which runs from March 2nd to 8th. According to a news release from FEMA dated February 28, 2014, “the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are calling on individuals across the country to Be a Force of Nature: Take the Next Step by preparing for severe weather and encouraging others to do the same.”

The press release mentions the significant recent tornado damage across the U.S. and the importance of being ready in case you live in a tornado prone area. While here in Florida we have a few more months until hurricane season officially begins, it is still a good reminder to families and businesses to have a disaster plan ready in the event of any type of severe weather or a natural catastrophe.

Here are some handy tips, as explained by FEMA:

“Being ready today can make a big difference for you when disaster strikes,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “It only takes a few minutes. Talk with your family and agree to a family plan. Learn easy steps on how to prepare at and find out how your community can take action in America’s PrepareAthon through drills, group discussions and community exercises.”

Our severe weather safety message is simple: know your risk, take action, be an example.

  • 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. Sign up for weather alerts and check the weather forecast regularly.

  • Take Action: Make sure you and your family are prepared for severe weather. Your family may not be together when a storm strikes, so plan how you will contact one another by developing your family communication plan. Make sure you put together an emergency kit and store important papers and valuables in a safe place. Visit to learn more about how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family when severe weather strikes.

  • Be an Example: Once you have taken action, tell family, friends, and co-workers to do the same. Share the resources and alert systems you discovered through your social media network. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be a good example and share the steps you took to become weather-ready. Share these new videos to help your friends and families to prepare.

  • Get Weather Ready: Before a Tornado

  • Get Weather Ready: During a Tornado

  • Get Weather Ready: After a Tornado

Also, as the press release explains:

NOAA and FEMA’s involvement in the innovative Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) project, a new text-like message system, is part of a national effort to increase emergency preparedness and build a Weather-Ready Nation.

FEMA provides a link to where you can sign up to receive a text message alert regarding extreme weather, and other threatening emergencies in your area, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency. As for weather related messages, the National Weather Service will provide alerts as to Tsunami Warnings, Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings, and Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm, and Extreme Wind Warnings.

As the Boy Scouts say: Be prepared!