This week is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, sponsored by FEMA and NOAA. This is effort is a good one because I remember so many of us getting caught off guard last April when about a dozen tornadoes tore through the Fort Worth – Dallas Metroplex. We were fortunate that these were small tornadoes as far as tornadoes go, or the damage could have been catastrophically worse.
It did get people’s attention, though. I’ve noticed in our remodeling design and planning that shelter and safety from the forces of nature is becoming more and more of a concern and a remodeling trend. The projects include large fortified supply closets, storm shelters both under and above ground, and safe rooms.
The point of The Severe Weather Preparedness Program is for you to become your own force of nature by taking proactive preparedness measures and inspiring others to do the same. It may be a bit corny, but if you are concerned about preventive safety, it makes sense for those close to you and those that you rely on to be informed as much as they are willing to be informed.
Here are some thoughts on getting prepared for a severe weather event:
Know Your Risk – Wind, lightning, rain and frozen rain are the elements that can affect us in North Texas. Look at your environment, and think about what will happen in a severe weather event. This should raise concerns about things like big trees and branches too close to the house, droopy power lines, poor drainage and unsafe walkways. Where are going to go when the “big one” is bearing down on you? Set up severe weather alerts on your phone, study the radar maps, and have a plan ready when bad weather is near.
Take Action – Have a personal emergency plan in place including safe shelter and supplies. Create and routinely refresh an emergency kit with food, water and medicine to keep you going for several days. Do what you can to strengthen your home from a severe storm. Always keep storm safety in mind when remodeling. Know how to shut the utilities off to your house, including gas, water and power.
Share your Knowledge – Once you have your plan together and functioning, share your new-found knowledge with your family, neighbors and friends. The more people who are prepared for severe weather, the safer we all will be.
Don’t Sweat It – The statistical reality is that your house will most likely never be flattened by a tornado, burned down by lightning or washed away by a flood. But, there is that slight chance, and it would be horrible if it happened, so there is no harm in being prepared to some level.
If you would like more information on this topic, visit these web sites for more detailed information on safety and preparedness: