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Severe weather awareness observed

HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. — This time of year is a perfect occasion to Be a Force of Nature and Scott County Emergency Management Agency is proud to be promoting severe weather preparedness week. 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 as well as encourage individuals, families businesses and communities to know their risk, take action, and be an example.

Each year, many people are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and other types of severe weather, despite advance warning. In 2011, there were more than 1,000 weather-related fatalities and more than 8,000 injuries. Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual. The Scott County Emergency Management Agency is committed to ensuring the safety of the citizens of Scott County and is calling on you to Be a Force of Nature. Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives.

“Being prepared for inclement weather can mean the difference between life and death,” commented Paul Strunk, Interim Director of the Scott County Emergency Management Agency. “During severe weather awareness week, everyone should take the time to assess their risk(s), and develop a plan of response.” Strunk added.

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 model preparedness actions for others. For this reason we are asking you to pledge and take the following steps:

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, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, 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 Force of Nature by taking the pledge to prepare at Ready.gov/severe-weather.   When you pledge to prepare, you will take the first step to making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather.  This includes developing a family communication plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.  Visit www.Ready.gov/severe-weather for more on family preparedness for severe weather.

Be an Example: Once you have taken action and pledged, 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. Post the Be a Force of Nature widget on your social media profiles.

More information and ideas on how you can Be a Force of Nature can be found at www.Ready.gov/severeweather. Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding is available at www.weather.gov.

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