Posted by: Bob Dixson, Mayor, Greensburg, Kansas
Editor’s Note: The views expressed by Mayor Bob Dixon do not necessarily represent the official views of the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA does not endorse any non-government organizations, entities, or services.
FEMA and NOAA have partnered to designate April 22-28, 2012, as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and is calling upon all Americans in every area of the country to Be a Force of Nature.
The City of Greensburg, Kan., is committed to Being a Force of Nature and pledging to know our risk, take action, and be an example for our families and community by sharing the steps we took. On May 4, 2007, an EF5 tornado leveled 95 percent of our community.
There were 11 lives lost in Greensburg that night. The casualties would have been much larger if we had not heeded the early warning system through the National Weather Service and NOAA. We were also prepared for severe weather since we live in Tornado Alley. Our citizens knew what to do to be prepared. Do you?
What can you do to Prepare?
Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example by sharing your knowledge and actions with your social network are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives.
- Know Your Risk: Every state in the U.S. has experienced tornadoes and severe weather, so everyone is exposed to some degree of risk.
- Pledge and Take Action: Be A Force of Nature by taking the pledge to prepare. 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 filling out your family communications plan that you can email it to yourself, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.
- Be an Example: Once you have taken action and pledged, 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 any other social media site you’re on. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be a good example and share the steps you took to help us achieve the vision of a Weather-Ready Nation.