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April 20, 2012
As the nation marks the first anniversary of one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are teaming up during this week to save lives from severe weather by encouraging the public to know your risk, take action, and be a force of nature by taking proactive preparedness measures and inspiring others to do the same.
In late April last year, tornadoes raked the central and southern United States, spawning more than 300 tornadoes and claiming hundreds of lives. That devastating outbreak was only one of many weather-related tragedies in 2011, which now holds the record for the greatest number of multi-billion dollar weather disasters in the nation’s history.
The country has already experienced early and destructive tornado outbreaks in the Midwest and South this year, including a significant number of tornadoes last weekend. May is the peak season for tornadoes so it is important to take action now.
“The damaging tornadoes that struck this year, causing widespread devastation as well as loss of life, also spurred many heroic survival stories,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. “In every one of these stories, people heard the warning, understood a weather hazard was imminent and took immediate action. We can build a Weather-Ready Nation by empowering people with the information they need to take preparedness actions across the country.”
“One of the lessons we can take away from the recent tornado outbreaks is that severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “While we can’t control where or when it might hit, we can take steps in advance to prepare and that’s why we are asking people to pledge to prepare, and share with others so they will do the same.”
To “be a force of nature,” NOAA and FEMA encourage citizens to prepare for extreme weather by following these guidelines:
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook , Twitter and our other social media channels.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Take the pledge and learn more information at www.ready.gov/severe-weather -- and encourage the rest of your community to join.