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June 13, 2013

FEMA URGES RESIDENTS TO FOLLOW DIRECTION OF LOCAL OFFICIALS AHEAD OF SEVERE WEATHER

Areas from Chicago to Washington, D.C. Should Prepare Now and Monitor Conditions

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency urges residents to follow the direction of state, local and tribal officials ahead of severe weather forecast to affect the upper Midwest and Ohio Valley, eastward to the Mid-Atlantic states, tonight and tomorrow. FEMA, through its National Watch Center in Washington, D.C and its regional offices in Chicago, Kansas City, and Philadelphia, is closely monitoring the storm system. 

FEMA has been in touch with its emergency management counterparts, and also is in close contact with federal partners at the National Weather Service.  The severe weather is forecast to include the threat of widespread damaging winds, along with the possibility of isolated tornadoes, through the evening and overnight hours from extreme eastern Iowa, across northern and central Illinois and Indiana, and including southwest Michigan and western Ohio. The severe weather threat will shift east on Thursday and a moderate risk for severe thunderstorms is forecast for the Mid-Atlantic region from southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey and southward into southern Virginia. The area of risk includes the eastern third of the United States from Florida to New England.

Individuals in the risk areas are encouraged to monitor weather conditions and follow the guidance provided by state, local or tribal officials. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are available on many cell phones on participating wireless carriers' networks. Tune to local news media for further emergency details in your area, and take immediate action to keep safe.  WEAs sent by public safety officials, such as the National Weather Service, are designed to provide brief, critical instructions to warn about imminent threats like severe weather or flash flooding. More information is available about the WEA program is available at www.fema.gov/wireless-emergency-alerts You can also tune to local news media for further emergency details in your area, and take immediate action to keep safe. 

Everyone should become familiar with the terms used to identify a severe weather hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued. Some of the more common terms used to describe severe weather and tornado hazards include the following:

 

Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm. 

Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information. 

Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately. 

 

Now is the time for residents to prepare their emergency supplies and plan for a possible loss of electrical power that could result from downed trees and debris. For detailed information about how to prepare for severe weather, including a list of items you will want to have in your emergency kit tonight, please visit www.Ready.gov

 

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.