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The City of Paris Police Department announced it is proud to support National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 2-8, 2014. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort designed to increase awareness of the severe weather that affects everyone and to encourage individuals, families businesses and communities to know their risk, take action, and be an example.
Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley remarked; “Our community has been struck several times by tornadoes and severe weather. We understand our residents’ concerns for adequate warnings and their personal safety. The city has invested in a revamping of our outdoor warning siren system, the CodeRED warning and information system, and the latest technologies in our Emergency Operations Center.”
Being prepared to act quickly could be a matter of survival. This is especially evident during the threat of severe weather. The deadliest and most destructive tornado of 2013, an EF-5 on May 20 in Moore, Oklahoma, and caused more than $2 billion in property damage. Even though severe weather was anticipated days in advance, many in the impacted areas said they did not have a plan and were caught unprepared.
While spring tends to produce more tornadoes, they’re not uncommon in fall. On Nov. 17, a late season tornado outbreak that struck seven Midwestern states became the most active tornado day of 2013 with a total of 74 tornadoes.
Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take Action: Before storms strike, develop a family communication plan, create or purchase an emergency supplies kit.
Be an Example: Share your preparedness story with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Letting others know that you’re prepared will prompt them to prepare as well. Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe. This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provides the perfect platform to model preparedness actions for others. The police department maintains a presence on Facebook where weather information is posted. Our CodeRED system will automatically begin calling our citizens when a severe weather warning is issued for the city or portions of the city. The department uses CodeRED capabilities with text messaging and e-mails to enhance the citizens awareness of approaching severe storms.
Chief Hundley stated: “Mother nature is in charge when severe weather strikes as we can do nothing to change the weather. What we can have an impact on is making sure our citizens know what’s coming and being prepared.”
Being weather ready is a collective effort. It takes the whole community to effectively prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against damages caused by tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and other severe weather.
Here are some websites with further information:
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/ (Ft. Worth Office, NWS)
For Information or questions, please contact Chief Bob Hundley or Asst. Chief Randy Tuttle at 903-737-4100.