Guest blogger Mary Riley is the Director of ACF’s Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness Response CAPT, U.S. Public Health Service.
As the first day of spring approaches, many Americans look forward to picnics, outdoor sports, and lower utility bills. For the Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR), springtime means the beginning of extreme weather conditions that can cause tornados.
Last year, 550 lost their lives to tornados in the United States. In early March, tornados struck several Midwestern states, killing 39 in one day.
For every tragic death, there are hundreds of survivors wrestling with the storm’s aftermath. Even if your house escapes the wrath of a tornado, your access to basic necessities and services could be disrupted. Thus, every family should have an emergency plan.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has an excellent on-line resource to help communities prepare for all types of emergencies: Ready.gov. Ready.gov has three simple recommendations for folks in areas prone to tornados: Be Informed, Make a Plan and Build a Kit.
The Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response encourages you to talk with your family today. The 30 minutes you spend at the dinner table devising an emergency plan will help you and your loved ones not only find each other after a disaster, but most importantly, survive one.