By Wendy Holdren
The City of Beckley and the Southern West Virginia Preparedness Partnership are asking employees and the community to take part in National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 3-9, and “Be a Force of Nature.”
“As a committed leader for weather-readiness, the City of Beckley will be highlighting ways individuals can ‘Be a Force of Nature’ by knowing the risk, taking action and serving as an example to others,” said Kevin Taylor, director of emergency services for the City of Beckley.
National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort to increase awareness of severe weather and to motivate individuals, families, businesses and communities to take actions that will prepare them in the event of severe weather.
Preparedness Week is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Taylor is asking everyone to take a “pledge to prepare” at www.ready. gov/severe-weather.
“When you pledge to prepare, you will take the first step to making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. This includes filling out your family communications plan that you can e-mail to yourself, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place and getting involved.”
Taylor suggests obtaining a NOAA weather radio, checking to see if your cell phone is equipped to receive wireless emergency alerts and signing up for localized alerts from emergency management officials.
To receive alerts, sign up at www.weather.gov/ subscribe.
Taylor also said after you have taken your own emergency preparedness actions, be an example.
“Once you have taken action, share your story with family and friends. Create a YouTube video, post your story on Facebook or send a tweet.”
He said 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 demonstrate preparedness actions for others.”
For more information, visit www.facebook. com/BeckleyReady.