Severe Weather Awareness Week

Tornado Damage - Hallam, Nebraska May 2004

Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 21-25. We’ve all seen our share of “weather aware” conditions around the nation this week! On Wednesday, Nebraska had heavy snows, rain, hail, lightning and strong wind. There were blizzard warnings and tornado watches on the same day. As unpredictible as the weather can be, you aren’t completely powerless if you are prepared.

  1. Learn about the types of disaster or emergencies that may occur in your area. This includes fire, flood, storms, earthquakes and even the possibility of a medical emergency in your own home.
  2. Identify your local authorities and how best to stay connected with them. Will you depend on local radio, television or a NOAA Weather Radio. What is your plan when you lose power or service? Your cell phone may not work to make local calls in a disaster. However, you may still be able to use your cell phone to text family to let them know you are OK or to check on them. In some states, Text-to-911 is available. A list of areas updated to Text-to-911 is updated monthly by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
  3. Know the difference between the weather alerts: watches, warnings. Learn what actions to take and practice!
  4. At least one member of your family should be trained in First Aid and CPR and how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator).
  5. Start putting together your Spring/Summer/Fall Emergency Kit. You may want to keep your winter emergency kit in your car because it isn’t unusual for us to have snow into the spring.
  6. Plan what to do if you are separated during an emergency. Do you know where to meet? What happens if you can’t return home or are asked to evacuate? Practice evacuating your home twice a year.
  7. What will you do with your pets? Do they have a “go bag” too? What about livestock?

Consider printing off, completing and giving each family member an American Red Cross Emergency Contact Card. In a disaster or emergency, it will help you reference important information quickly.

Spring Floods near Beatrice, NE 2015

Flooding near Beatrice, Nebraska May 2015

Learn more about emergency response groups in your community like the American Red Cross, Citizen Corp and more. Take a CERT course (Community Emergency Response Team). Youth can learn more through a variety of organizations like 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol and more. Check out a listing of Volunteer Groups from here.

For more information, check out:

As always, check with your local emergency management agency for specific resources in your community. You can also contact your local university extension office for assistance locating the appropriate resources or agencies in your community. To find your local office, visit

Have a great day!


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