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Monday, 07 July 2014 17:08

New Yorkers: Prepare for severe weather before it strikes

NEW YORK – New Yorkers know about severe weather. After Hurricane Sandy, 2013 brought 15 significant weather events to New York, including winter snow and ice storms, a tornado, extreme heat, brush fires, heavy rains and flooding. Two of those events resulted in major disaster declarations for the state.

Next week, March 2-8, is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, a nationwide campaign to remind everyone that severe weather can affect anyone. The effort is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Across the U.S. last year, there were seven severe weather events that crossed the $1 billion mark in economic and property damage. These disasters, including floods, tornadoes and wildfires, caused the deaths of 109 people.

NOAA and FEMA urge all New Yorkers to understand the risks where you live and how severe weather could affect you and your family. Check weather forecasts, get a NOAA Weather Radio and sign up for local weather alerts from emergency management officials. Check NOAA’s National Weather Service website for more information: www.weather.gov.

Next, make sure you and your family are prepared for severe weather. Develop a family communication and disaster preparedness plan, keep important papers, medications and other essential items in a safe place and visit www.Ready.gov/severe-weather to learn more.

Being prepared for severe weather need not be complicated or costly. Keeping a few simple items handy in a disaster kit, for example, could end up being a lifesaver. Go to www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit to find out more about what to include in a basic kit and how to develop one for those with unique needs. The same information is available in Spanish at www.listo.gov.

Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, set an example by sharing your story with family and friends on any social media site. Be a "force of nature" and inspire others in your community to take action too. Pledge to prepare by signing up for America’s PrepareAthon on April 30 at www.fema.gov/americas-prepareathon.