Protecting your home and community

Friday of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Picture of a thinking caveman with a club

Leadership doesn’t require a a degree or a stick

When it comes to surviving severe weather, helping yourself, your family, and neighbors, being a leader doesn’t take a lot. It certainly doesn’t require you to be an expert public speaker, have a degree in meteorology, special expertise, a big stick, or a pair of stone tablets. What does it take?


Three steps:

1. Get the information
2. Make a decision
3. Act on it.



Yesterday we discussed weather radio and weather apps. You can also get the information you need from Twitter, Facebook, and on the Web.



Here are some sources for weather information:

Government sites:

Private weather web sites:

And here’s another one, for those of you not sensitive to salty language: The F**king Weather

Closeup photo of girl texting

Let your neighbors know what you’re doing about the upcoming bad weather

Once you have the information, decide whether it’s serious enough to act on it. If it is, stop thinking about it and act, then let your neighbors know. Why? Two reasons:

  1. Other people may not be as well-informed as you are
  2. It is human nature to pay more attention to people we know than people we don’t


Here’s an example:


On May 22, 2011, a multiple-vortex tornado descended upon Joplin, Missouri. Winds exceeding 200 miles an hour tore through the town devastating schools, a hospital, businesses and homes. 158 people were killed.

Tornado warnings had been issued. Sirens had sounded. But not everyone responded to the warnings. Why? NOAA researchers discovered that many people did not act after they heard the tornado warning but waited for confirmation from another source, including friends. After such confirmation they were more likely to seek shelter.

Photo of multi-vortex tornadoThis is where you fit in. You can be a role model when it comes to severe weather preparedness. People are more likely to take action if they see family members or friends preparing for a storm.


Take the Next Step

Social media saves lives. Research has shown that people are more likely to take a preparedness action when they see others doing so. Download a social media toolkit filled with tweets and Facebook posts that you can use to help promote the importance of severe weather preparedness. Be a role model in your online world for severe weather safety.


Daily themes for National Severe Weather Preparedness Week:

Logo of NWS Be a Force of Nature

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