Tennessee Broadcasters, Emergency Managers, and Meteorologists Promote Severe Weather Prep

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced on February 21st, that Tennessee’s Severe Weather Awareness Week is February 24th-March 2nd, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Association of Broadcasters (TAB), and the National Weather Service (NWS) are asking Tennesseans to make severe weather planning preparedness a priority. 

“Severe Weather Awareness Week is a time when Tennesseans are encouraged to begin and/or evaluate their family’s severe weather safety plan,” said Krissy Hurley, NWS warning coordination meteorologist.  Hurley added, “Knowing what to do during severe weather while at work, school, or play is the ultimate key in survival and safety.  Because it’s not if severe weather will strike Tennessee, it’s merely a question of when.”  A highlight of the week will be the statewide tornado drill NWS will conduct at 9:30 a.m. CST, on Wednesday, February 27th.  The drill will also include a statewide test of NOAA weather radios.

Some basic severe weather advice includes:  Never venture into high water, either on foot or in a vehicle.  If you’re outside and hear thunder, go indoors immediately.  Go to a basement or an innermost, first floor room in your home if you’re told to take shelter during a tornado warning.  Know the location of and route to your office or building’s tornado shelter.  Never try to outrun a tornado.  Have an emergency plan ready at places where your family spends time—work, school, daycare, commuting and outdoor events.  Emergency plans should include where to meet, and who family members should check in with, if you are separated from family members during a severe weather emergency.

At a minimum, emergency preparedness kits should include one gallon of water per day, per person, and per pet, for three to five days.  The kit should also have non-perishable food for each family member, and pets, for three to five days.  Other items the kit should include:  flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, cell phone charger or solar charger, copies of important family documents, and extra supplies of medications, especially for those with chronic health conditions.