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FEMA is a force of nature and you can be one, too

Published March 05. 2013 05:01PM

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - FEMA Region III is proud to be promoting National Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 3-9.

During this week FEMA is asking members of the community to "Be a Force of Nature" and better prepare for severe weather threats in our area.

Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort to increase awareness of severe weather and to motivate individuals, families, businesses, and communities to take actions that will prepare them in the event of severe weather.

As a committed leader for disaster-readiness, FEMA Region III will be highlighting ways individuals can Be a Force of Nature by knowing their risk, taking action, and serving as an example.

Each year, individuals are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and other types of severe weather, despite advance warning. In 2012, there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries. Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual.

"We've seen an increase in severe weather in our region over the last several years, including a derecho, tornadoes, and floods" said FEMA Region III Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. "Severe weather often strikes without warning, so I encourage you to know your risk and take action to make sure you're prepared."

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. Every state in our region experiences tornadoes and severe weather, so everyone is exposed to some degree of risk.

Check the weather forecast regularly and visit to learn more about how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family during emergencies.

Pledge and take action: "Be Force of Nature" by taking the Pledge to Prepare at

When you pledge to prepare, you take the first step to making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. This includes filling out your family communications plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.

Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and check to see if your cell phone is equipped to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts and sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials. Stay informed by having multiple sources for weather alerts , and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Subscribe to receive alerts at

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

Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe. This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provides the perfect platform to demonstrate preparedness actions for others.

More information and ideas on how you can Be a Force of Nature can be found at

Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding is available at that Web site.

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