In 2011, the United States saw a record 14 weather and climate disasters that caused one billion dollars or more in damages - from flooding in the Upper Midwest to tornadoes in the Southeast and wildfires in the West. And 2012 has been no stranger to extreme weather and climate conditions either, with massive wildfires, extreme heat, drought and recent flooding impacts from Hurricane Isaac.
Viewer Tip: September is National Preparedness Month - the perfect time to make sure you have the supplies and information you need to stay safe if a natural disaster or other emergency occurs in your area.
- Know Your Stuff. Find out what kinds of natural and man-made disasters may occur in your area. Know how you will be notified of an emergency in your community (TV or radio broadcasts, sirens, telephone calls, etc.), and learn about emergency plans established by your state or local government. Get state-by-state information about famous natural disasters and preparedness tips at www.ready.gov/today.
- Have a Plan. All family members should know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in different emergency situations. Find out if workplaces, daycares and schools have emergency plans. Download a family emergency plan at www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
- Build a Kit. Keep an emergency supply kit at home that will cover the basics of survival: food, fresh water, clean air and warmth. Find a list of suggested emergency supply kit items at www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit.
- Consider Special Needs. Remember that additional planning and supplies may be required for:
Watch a video to learn more about preparing for disasters.
(Sources: NOAA.. “Extreme Weather 2011.”; FEMA Ready. Image courtesy of FEMA Ready.)