Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week - Become a Force of Nature!

Prepare yourself for severe weather - join Kansas Insurance in becoming a Force of Nature!

The past few years have been tough for Kansas in terms of storm damage. In 2011 alone, Kansas weather-related losses reached a record breaking $1.095 billion, surpassing the previous storm loss record by close to $400 million! Nationally, just last year there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries. Tornadoes struck approximately 46 states, caused over $1.6 billion in damage and nearly 70 fatalities. There were more than 935 tornadoes in 2012, with 206 in April alone. While April and May are peak months, tornadoes happen all year round.

This week, March 3-9, 2013, has been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as National Severe Weather  Preparedness Week, and they have started a campaign to urge all Americans to Be a Force of Nature.

Building a Weather-Ready Nation requires that every individual and community take action because severe weather knows no boundaries and affects us all.

So how can you participate?

Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-savvy is to understand which types of
hazardous weather risks affect you where you live, and how severe weather could impact
you and your family. Every state in the United States has experienced tornadoes and other severe weather events, so no matter where you live you are exposed to some degree of  risk. The FEMA website has a lot of good information about all kinds of natural disasters and how to prepare to protect your family during emergencies.

Pledge and Take Action: Be Force of Nature by taking the Pledge to Prepare at ready.gov/severe-weather. By taking the pledge, you are committing to taking action to make sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. This includes filling out a family communications plan that you can email to yourself, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.

Stay informed: Ensure that you receive updates about severe weather by having multiple sources for weather alerts: obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, sign up for weather alerts through a local news organizations (such as these from the Lawrence Journal-World) or other emergency weather officials and see if your cell phone is compatible with Wireless Emergency Alerts

Be an Example: Once you have taken action and pledged to Be a Force of Nature, share your story with your family and friends. Create a video and post on a video sharing site; post your story on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, comment on a blog, or share through any other social media site. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be a good example and share the steps you took to help achieve the vision of a Weather-Ready Nation.

Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example by sharing your knowledge and actions through your social network are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives.

Kansas Insurance is committed to Being a Force of Nature. Are you?

*Note: The bulk of this post's content was provided by NOAA.gov. Visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/force to find resources you can share with your community. 

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