Tennessee Severe Weather Week 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 | 12:35pm


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee's Severe Weather Awareness Week is Feb. 25, to Mar. 3, 2018, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Tennessee’s National Weather Service (NWS) offices are using this week to promote preparedness to Tennesseans.

“Severe weather can occur at any time in Tennessee,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “TEMA wants Tennesseans and our state’s visitors to understand severe weather hazards, and prepare themselves and their loved ones to receive and understand warnings, and get to safety, when severe weather threatens.”

TEMA & NWS will host a Facebook Live event at 2:30 p.m., Central, on Mon., Feb. 26, 2018, to help Tennesseans understand the hazards and threats of severe weather. The NWS in Nashville will host the Facebook Live event at www.facebook.com/NWSNashville with TEMA posting the event simultaneously at www.facebook.com/TNDisasterInfo.

NWS Awareness and Education Events
NWS offices in Nashville, Memphis, Morristown, and Huntsville, Ala. will also hold a series of education and training events, using each day of Severe Weather Awareness Week to focus on a different severe weather threat. Information on Tennessee Severe Weather Week activities is available at http://www.weather.gov/ohx/swaw2018.

“Now is the time to think about what your actions will be in the event severe weather including tornadoes and floods impacts you,” said Krissy Hurley, warning coordination meteorologist at NWS Nashville. “Our last few severe weather seasons have been relatively quiet, so we definitely don't want Tennesseans to become complacent thinking that severe weather won't happen to them. It's not if severe weather will strike; it's merely a matter of when.”

A highlight of the week will be the statewide tornado drill NWS will conduct at 9:30 a.m., Central, on Wed., Feb. 28, 2018. The drill will also include a statewide test of NOAA weather radios.

Be Ready, Make a Plan, Have a Kit
A key message of Severe Weather Awareness Week is to help Tennesseans understand the importance of having emergency plans in place before a flood, tornado, or other threat is imminent.

“The most important preparedness tip is to stay informed to its potential,” Sheehan said. “At home, at work, or in your vehicle, have multiple ways to receive weather information and warnings: keep a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio at home; watch TV and listen to the radio for weather updates; and. download applications that push weather information to mobile devices.”

Other severe weather awareness tips and resources include:
• Never venture into high water, either on foot or in a vehicle.
• If you’re outside and hear thunder, go indoors immediately.
• Go to a basement or an innermost, first floor room in your home if you’re told to take shelter during a tornado warning.
• Know the location of and route to your office or building’s tornado shelter.
• Never try to outrun a tornado.
• Have an emergency plan ready at places where your family spends time – work, school, daycare, commuting and outdoor events.
• Emergency plans should include where to meet, and who family members should check in with, if you are separated from family members during a severe weather emergency.

At a minimum, emergency preparedness kits should include one gallon of water per-day, per-person, and per-pet, for three to five days. The kit should also have enough non-perishable food for each family member, and pets, for three to five days.

Other items that every kit should include: flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, cell phone charger or solar charger, and copies of important family documents.

It is also very important that emergency kits contain extra supplies of medications, especially for those in the household with chronic health conditions.

Online Preparedness Resources
A number of websites provide resources to help with the creation of emergency plans. The website, https://www.ready.gov/ and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/, have information, fill-in-the-blank documents, and other resources to help individuals and families assemble the basic components needed for personal emergency plans.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has emergency preparedness information for businesses at www.sba.gov/managing-business/running-business/emergency-preparedness

About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders. Follow TEMA on: Facebook, TNDisasterInfo; Twitter, @T_E_M_A; and, at www.tn.gov/TEMA.

Tennessee Severe Weather Awareness Week 2018 Proclamation