For more than 20
years, the state of Minnesota has conducted Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness
Week in partnership with the National
Weather Service and local governments. Minnesota
Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 21-25, 2014 with two
statewide tornado drills on Thursday, April 24 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m.
public event is designed to remind individuals, families, businesses, schools,
and institutions that it’s essential to plan ahead for Minnesota’s severe
spring and summer weather.
involved community is more resilient to disaster, and being prepared helps
reduce the risks and costs of hazardous weather events. An easy way to get
prepared is by participating in Severe Weather Awareness Week (SWAW).
The statewide tornado drills on Thursday, April 24 provide an excellent
opportunity for citizens to prepare their homes, families, neighborhoods, and
After the long
cold winters, and relatively short mild summers of the past few years, many
people may have become complacent or simply forgotten how to react when severe weather
warnings and events occur. Yet nearly every county in Minnesota
experiences some type of severe weather every year. Storms, lightning,
hail, tornadoes, flooding, fires can occur anywhere. Simply being informed
about these threats and having a plan to deal with them can often be the most
important protection anyone can have.
hope you take the opportunity during
Severe Weather Awareness Week and especially the tornado
drills, to engage with your local communities about being prepared and how to
be ready for anything mother nature brings.
AFTERNOON TORNADO DRILL APRIL 24, 2014 - 1:45 P.M.
The drill traditionally occurs on Thursday afternoon at 1:45
p.m., when jurisdictions across Minnesota sound their outdoor warning sirens.
Schools, businesses and other facilities are encouraged to conduct a tornado
drill at this time to practice their tornado sheltering plans.
EVENING TORNADO DRILL APRIL 24, 2014 - 6:55 P.M.
The reason for a 6:55 p.m. drill is that
severe weather including tornadoes occurs most often between 3 and 8 p.m. The
statewide 1:45 p.m. drill gives institutions, first-shift and day workers a
time to practice, but it does not allow second-shift workers the same
opportunity. The 6:55 p.m. tornado drill also allows families to practice their
read and distribute the attached messages as
appropriate. Also attached is “My Phone List” for
kids that HSEM created that can be printed and handed out. These days,
many kids (and adults) may not memorize telephone numbers or addresses as much
and writing them down is a good way to start an emergency plan.
more information and materials please visit the HSEM Weather Safety website at:
Why the Extreme Weather?
One of our current
risks is the climate change that has lead to more extreme weather.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that “a changing
climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration,
and timing of extreme weather and climate events, and can result in
unprecedented extreme weather and climate events” The IPCC has
It is likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation or the proportion of total rainfall from heavy falls will increase in the 21st century over many areas of the globe
Average tropical cyclone maximum wind speed is likely to increase
There is medium confidence that droughts will intensify
It is very likely that mean sea level rise will contribute to upward trends in extreme coastal high water levels in the future
Extreme events will have greater impacts on sectors with closer links to climate, such as water, agriculture and food security, forestry, health, and tourism
During Flood Safety Awareness Week,
March 16 to 22, 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 floods and encourage others to do the
Floods are the most
common — and costliest — natural disaster in the nation affecting every state
and territory. A flood occurs somewhere in the United States or its territories
nearly every day of the year. Flood Safety Awareness Week is an opportunity to learn about flood risk and take
action to prepare your home and family.
needlessly pass away each year because they underestimate the risk of driving
through a flooded roadway,” said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA's
National Weather Service. "Survive the storm: Turn Around Don't Drown at flooded
“Floods can happen
anytime and anywhere,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Take steps now to
make sure your family is prepared, including financial protection for your home
or business through flood insurance. Find out how your community can take action
in America’s PrepareAthon! with
drills, group discussions and community exercises at www.ready.gov/prepare.”
Our flood safety
awareness message is simple: know your risk, take action, and be an
example. The best way to stay safe during a flood and recover quickly once
the water recedes is to prepare for a variety of situations long before the
water starts to rise.
Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to
understand that flooding can happen anywhere and 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 at weather.gov. Now is the time to be prepared by
ensuring you have real-time access to flood warnings via mobile devices, weather
radio and local media, and avoiding areas that are under these warnings. Visit
learn about public safety alerts and visit floodsmart.gov to learn about your flood risk and
flood insurance available.
Take Action: Make sure you and your family members are prepared
for floods. You may not be together when weather strikes, so plan how you will
contact one another by developing your family communication plan. Flood
insurance is also an important consideration: just a few inches of water inside
a home can cost tens of thousands of dollars in damage that typically will not
be covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Visit Ready.gov/prepare and NOAA to learn more
actions you can take to be better prepared and important safety and weather
Be an Example: Once you have taken action, tell family, friends,
and co-workers to do the same. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be
a good example and to share the steps you took to become weather-ready.
From FEMA and
Great reminder from FEMA:
changed your clocks for Daylight Saving Time, but what about your smoke alarm?
As you prepare to spring forward, don’t forget to “spring” the alarm by
replacing its batteries. Smoke alarm batteries should be changed at least once
a year to make sure it operates properly when you need it the most.
fire breaks out, you only have seconds to escape its heat, black smoke and
deadly gases. Increase your chances of survival by maintaining the smoke alarms in your
home. Here are more tips for making your home safer:
Place a smoke alarm on every level
of your home and outside each bedroom. If you keep your bedroom doors closed,
place a smoke alarm in each bedroom;
Check smoke alarms monthly by
pushing the test button;
Never disable a smoke alarm when
Smoke alarms wear out over time.
Replace yours if it’s more than ten years old.
most Americans having smartphones, it is easy to have preparedness information
right in your pocket. Ashley Sylvester, a prepared mother of two children and
survivor of the 2013 Oklahoma tornado, shares in the America’s PrepareAthon! disaster survivor
video she had emergency preparedness mobile applications
(apps) that were vital to her. When she received the alert about an
impending tornado via a tornado mobile app, she knew it was serious and was
able to quickly move her family to their safe room.
the FEMA app to access
disaster preparedness tips, get emergency meeting location information and
more. Take your preparedness measures to the next level with FEMA text messages.
Subscribe to receive regular safety tips for specific disaster types and search
for open shelters. In addition, the American Red Cross has
a host of weather-specific apps that will get you better prepared.
In the past few
months and weeks many across the United States have felt frozen from the impact
of severe winter storms and extreme cold. Just a few weeks ago, we heard many
stories of those in the southern United States who had to deal with being stuck
for hours in their car or without power due to extreme snow and icy conditions.
The importance of
planning for severe weather is invaluable. In December 2013, we learned about
James Glanton and Christine McIntee on cnn.com, as
they tackled winter weather conditions. This family survived in sub-zero
temperatures for two day in the Nevada wilderness after their car rolled off the
side of the road. How did the family survive? Here are 5 things that they did
to survive the harsh conditions:
They did not leave to go find
help. It’s better to stick with your vehicle than going out on your
They were planning to play in the
snow, so they were prepared for the elements. Include adequate clothing and
blankets in your car to stay warm, especially if you will be
They improvised to
stay warm by starting a fire outside the car, heating rocks and placing them
inside the spare tire to keep everyone warm at night; and
They had food and water. As part
of an emergency supplies
kit, Ready.gov recommends having a quantity of
food and water to last at least 72 hours.
Be a Force of Nature
National Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 2-8
During National Severe Weather
Preparedness Week March 2 to 8, 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.
Just one tornado can
cause catastrophic damage. Last year, the EF 5
tornado that struck Moore, Okla., on May 20 killed 24 people and caused more
than $2 billion in damage. In 2013, a total of
903 tornadoes were reported in the United States. Those
tornadoes occurred in 43 states on 152 days, resulting in 55 fatalities and
more than 500 injuries.
As more people move
to tornado-prone areas, knowing what to do when severe weather strikes could
“With the devastation of last year’s
tornadoes fresh in our minds and springtime almost here, I urge individuals to
become weather-ready now,” said NOAA National Weather Service Director Dr.
Louis Uccellini. “Make
sure you have multiple ways to access forecasts and warnings from NOAA’s
National Weather Service before severe weather strikes.”
“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 Ready.gov 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 Ready.gov/severe-weather 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
these new videos to help your friends and families to prepare.
• Get Weather Ready: Before a Tornado - http://youtu.be/uE66ganofF0
• Get Weather Ready: During a Tornado - http://youtu.be/_5TiTfuvotc
• Get Weather Ready: After a Tornado - http://youtu.be/UQ94ESZulA8
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. Last year millions of individuals
across the country received WEAs with life-saving weather warnings via their
cell phone. These geographically targeted
emergency alerts have allowed people to receive weather warnings they would not
have otherwise received, and many people took life-saving action. For more information, visit www.ready.gov/alerts.
Preparing for Spring Weather Webinar
Tuesday, March 11th, 2014, 1pm to 2pm CT
We have all witnessed the devastating effects Mother Nature can cause throughout the year. As we look ahead to Spring, now is the time to prepare for the threats posed by spring storms and floodwaters. Your organization is more than just a place of business to your customers, employees and stakeholders. Your organization is a key aspect of their lives, and one that must be protected. If your organization is affected by adverse weather conditions, how well will you be prepared to serve those who depend on you in their time of need?
Join the SBA and co-sponsor Agility Recovery as we welcome Agility CEO Bob Boyd who will share practical, applicable tips and best practices to mitigate the risks posed by spring weather conditions. These recommended steps and strategies are based on the thousands of successful business recoveries following weather disasters, including those related to flooding, tornadoes and severe storms. Registration Link: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/191715953
Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and InfraGard Members Alliance in Minnesota partner to create the Public and Private Coordination and Action Team (P2CAT).