Emergency officials promote severe weather awareness

Emergency officials promote severe weather awareness
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Obion County Emergency Management director Dan-ny Jowers believes in being prepared.
And he wants the community to join him.
Jowers is among the EMA directors across the state promoting this week’s observance of Tennessee Severe Weather Awareness Week.
The Tennessee Emergen-cy Management Agency and National Weather Service are promoting preparedness for families, individuals and businesses during this week’s observance — which kicked off Sunday and runs through Saturday.
Jowers has been visiting schools across Obion County this week to conduct tornado drills and ensure they have weather radios. He has also made visits to nursing homes to review their severe weather plans.
“We want people to be aware and to plan ahead. We all need to be reminded of it,” he said.
He hopes people will use this specially-designated week to either review or develop plans about where to go during a severe weather warning, as well as what they will do both before and after severe weather strikes.
“Work on your plans — that’s the theme this year,” Jowers said.
Tennessee has experienced two years of unprecedented natural disasters and individual preparedness is more important than ever, TEMA director James Bassham said.
“Emergencies and disasters can happen anywhere and anytime, so we hope Tennessee citizens will take an active role in the preparedness of their families, their neighborhoods and their communities,” he said.
Throughout this week, the National Weather Service, TEMA and other supporting groups have been conducting educational activities and drills across the state to help people prevent injuries and deaths from tornadoes, damaging winds, flash floods, lightning and hail.
TEMA has also an-nounced the release of a new mobile smartphone application, Ready TN, a tool to help citizens know the hazards in their community and the preparations they should make to be ready for any emergency. The app provides location-based information on severe weather, road conditions, open shelters and local government contacts. Preparedness tips for specific hazards and checklists for emergency kit items are also provided in the content.
The smartphone app is currently available in the Android market by searching for Ready TN. It is under development for use on the Apple iPhone.
The National Weather Service is using this week to focus on severe weather preparedness, safety and warnings. Specific weather threats such as tornadoes or lightning, along with NOAA Weather Radio and Skywarn storm spotters, have been highlighted on individual days.
Jointly, the NWS and TEMA planned to distribute the 2012 Severe Weather Awareness brochure to schools, businesses and individuals this week. The brochure is available at www.srh.noaa.gov/ohx/?n=swaw2012.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 2.23.12

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