Yes, you can be a force of nature. In fact, we’re counting on it.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have designated March 3-9, 2013, as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and is calling on all of us to Be a Force of Nature.

All of us at Disaster One are committed to Being a Force of Nature and we hope you will too by knowing your risk, taking action, and being an example for your families and community by sharing the steps you took.

The Southeast United States is prone to tornadoes, flash floods, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and ice storms, and the recent severe weather we’ve witnessed reminds us that it can strike anywhere and at any time. Just last year in the US there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries.

Each time severe weather threatens we hear stories of ordinary folks who do the extraordinary to save loved ones – a mother protecting her children by shielding them from flying debris, a homeowner opening up his storm shelter to neighbors, neighbors helping a senior in a wheelchair get to a safe shelter, individuals ensuring friends are aware of the current watch or warning in their area.

Tornadoes struck approximately 46 states, caused over $1.6 billion in damage and nearly 70 fatalities. There were more than 935 tornadoes in 2012, with 206 in April alone. And even though April and May are the peak months, tornadoes happen all year round. Who could forget the tornado that struck Georgia this past January?

Building a Weather-Ready Nation requires that every individual and community take action because severe weather knows no boundaries and affects us all. You can Be a Force of Nature by making a public pledge to be prepared at ready.gov/severe-weather.

What can you do to Prepare?

Knowing your risk, taking action, and being an example by sharing your knowledge and actions through your social networks are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives.

Know Your Risk: Your first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how that weather might impact you and your family. Every state in the United States has experienced tornadoes and severe weather, so everyone is exposed to some degree of risk. In fact, according to FEMA, 5 of the top 20 states in tornado frequency are in the Southeast. Check your local forecast regularly and visit ready.gov/severe-weather to learn more about how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family during emergencies.

Pledge and Take Action: Be a Force of Nature by taking the Pledge to Prepare at ready.gov/severe-weather. When you take this pledge, you’re taking the first step to ensuring you and your family are ready for severe weather. This includes making a family communications plan that you can email to yourself, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.

Buy a NOAA Weather Radio, sign up for local Wireless Emergency Alerts on your cell phone. You can subscribe to receive alerts at www.weather.gov/subscribe.

Be an Example: Once you’ve taken action and pledged to Be a Force of Nature, share your story with your family and friends. You can be creative – make a video and post it on a video sharing site. Post your story on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, comment on a blog (like this one!), and don’t forget to share your story with us on our Facebook or Google+ pages. You can leverage all sorts of technology to be a good example.

Join us today and pledge to prepare for the severe weather in your area.

You can find lots of info on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding at www.weather.gov and ready.gov/severe-weather or the Spanish-language web site www.listo.gov.
And always remember Disaster One is standing by to help if you suffer damage from severe weather. Our highly trained and certified team is on call 24/7/365, standing by to Restore Your Future!

What will you do to Be a Force of Nature?