|Extreme Weather Week: Always Be Prepared|
|By Amalio Jusino, Guest Column|
11:43AM / Wednesday, April 25, 2012
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — This week marks the first National Severe Weather Preparedness Week established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This week was chosen because of the largest and deadliest tornado outbreaks in the United States one year ago that resulted in 321 deaths.
As residents of Berkshire County and the surrounding communities, tornados may not be our primary concern, but we are not immune to them and we have seen our share of severe weather in the last year.
As a result, Emergency Response Consulting of North Adams would like to share some preparedness resources and encourage residents to share the message from NOAA and FEMA to "be a force of nature" in preparing for extreme weather by following these guidelines.
Know your risk: Know the types of weather that can negatively impact where you live and work and how it may affect you and your family.
Take action: Pledge to develop an emergency plan based on your local hazards and practice how and where to take shelter. Create an emergency kit for food, medication, and supplies. Encourage your workplace to develop a plan. Learn how you may strengthen your home to better handle severe weather.
Be a force of nature: Upon establishing your plan, tell your friends, family and co-workers about how they can prepare. Assist your neighbor, the elderly or the disabled in establishing an emergency kit and plan.
The time to plan is now, waiting for inclement weather to be upon us and expecting a positive outcome is a recipe for disaster. Our local emergency response agencies continue Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning to keep our community safe and your preparation will assist in reducing the potential loss of life or property.
In developing your emergency plan, ERC recognizes the difficulty some may have in determining if they have the proper supplies, resources and information necessary to make a positive difference. Visit www.ready.gov to learn how to make a plan, build a kit, get involved and be informed. In today's world of communication there are numerous mobile applications that can be downloaded to notify you of severe weather and provide safety tips on what to do.
We wish you a safe and uneventful severe weather year and hope that you all recognize the importance of being a force of nature. Severe weather negatively impacts a community and it takes a community to recognize, respond and recover through proper planning and preparation.
Provided by Amalio Jusino of Emergency Response Consulting. For more information about developing emergency plans or the company, call 413-822-8669.