Tennessee’s Severe Weather Awareness Week runs through Saturday, March 6, and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and National Weather Service (NWS) are asking Tennesseans to make severe weather planning and preparedness a priority.
“Even today, at the start of Severe Weather Week, Tennessee is under some form of severe weather advisory, from flash flooding to the possibility of tornadoes,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said.
“All Tennesseans should take a few moments to review their emergency plans, have at least two ways to receive weather warnings, and take advantage of the programs our partners at the National Weather Service are offering this week.”
National Weather Service will host a series of virtual training courses throughout the week. A list of courses and daily educational themes can be found on their website at weather.gov/ohx/swaw2021.
A highlight of the week will be the statewide tornado drill NWS will conduct at 9:30 a.m., CST, on Friday, March 5. The drill will also include a statewide test of NOAA weather radios.
This year’s annual Severe Weather Awareness Week comes a year after the deadly tornado outbreaks that impacted Middle and East Tennessee last spring. The outbreak caused 25 fatalities statewide, and damaged or destroyed 3,600 residential and commercial properties in Davidson, Wilson, and Putnam counties.
“Many Tennesseans are still recovering from the tornadoes last year, so we can’t stress enough, the importance of severe weather awareness and education,” Sheehan added.
Some basic severe weather advice includes the following:
•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.
TEMA’s ReadyTN mobile application, available for Apple and Android devices, provides emergency preparedness, response, and recovery information, with features including the following:
•Basic emergency kit checklists and emergency checklists for special populations;
•Detailed descriptions and information on the major hazards in Tennessee;
•Notices of public alerts and warnings issued in Tennessee;
•A regional list of local emergency management agency contacts by county;
•Traffic updates from the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s SmartWay resource;
•Information on American Red Cross shelters that may be open near their locations in emergency situations;
•Immediate visual notification on TEMA’s operational status and whether a State of Emergency exists.
A complete list of ReadyTN’s features, as well as direct links to download, is available on TEMA’s website at www.tn.gov/ready-tn.html.
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 enough non-perishable food for each family member, and pets, for three to five days.
Kits should also include a flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, cell phone charger or solar charger, and copies of important family documents.
For more information on creating an emergency plan and building an emergency kit visit the Prepare section of TEMA’s website, https://www.tn.gov/tema/prepare.html.