This week marks Severe Weather Awareness Week in the state of Tennessee.
Emergency managers and local agencies say now is the time to start preparing for any and all spring severe weather that may come our way. Greg Waite, American Red Cross CEO said, "The biggest thing for us is to make sure we are prepared for whatever comes our way. We saw it. Snow last week, 8 inches of snow that fell and it melted within that day. Now we are seeing sixties and seventies. If we are going to see severe weather roll through we've got to be prepared."
Representatives with the American Red Cross urge every family to develop their own emergency plan to prevent any injuries. Waite said, "If we can just get people taking that time. Mapping out a few minutes and sit at the dinner table and talk to the kids, and say if there is a tornado, or there is severe weather, where are we going to go and what are we going to do." Hamilton County Emergency officials took the opportunity to also stress the difference between a watch and a warning. Tony Reavley, Hamilton County Emergency Services Director said, "A watch means conditions are suitable for something to develop, and a warning means that they have spotted something or likely to spot something. So know the difference between the watch and warning and take appropriate action with those." Waite said, "If we educate people, we calm their fear, so that's our ultimate goal. To try to ensure that people have the information that they need so they are not freaking out."
Officials say every family also needs an emergency kit of food and medicine, as well as the ability to stay informed on what's going on. No matter the emergency, recommendations of having a three day supply of water and non perishable food items per person is suggested.
The American Red Cross offers a free app that provides shelter availablility information. It also includes built in tools such as a flash light, and a tool that utulizes social media that can alert friends you are safe. For more information on preparedness visit www.redcross.org
, and www.tnema.org