Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Omaha/Valley, NE

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NOUS43 KOAX 281335
PNSOAX
IAZ043-055-056-069-079-080-090-091-NEZ011-012-015>018-030>034-
042>045-050>053-065>068-078-088>093-282300-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OMAHA/VALLEY NE
830 AM CDT THU MAR 27 2014

...THIS IS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK...

GOVERNORS TERRY BRANSTAD AND DAVE HEINEMAN...THE IOWA HOMELAND
SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION...THE NEBRASKA EMERGENCY
MANAGEMENT AGENCY AND THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAVE DESIGNATED
THE WEEK OF MARCH 24 TO MARCH 28 AS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN
IOWA AND NEBRASKA. EACH MORNING THIS WEEK...THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE IN OMAHA/VALLEY WILL ISSUE A PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
FOCUSING ON A DIFFERENT ITEM EACH DAY. TOPICS THIS YEAR INCLUDE THE
FOLLOWING...

MONDAY...FLASH FLOODING
TUESDAY...WARNING RECEPTION
WEDNESDAY...TORNADOES
THURSDAY...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
FRIDAY...FAMILY PREPAREDNESS

ATTENTION MEDIA...IN ORDER FOR SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK TO BE
EFFECTIVE...MEDIA COVERAGE IS CRITICAL. PLEASE USE THE INFORMATION
IN THE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS IN YOUR NEWS PROGRAMS TO HELP
PROMOTE SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY. WE ALSO ENCOURAGE MEDIA INTERVIEWS.
PLEASE CONTACT BRIAN SMITH OR THE SENIOR METEOROLOGIST IF YOU ARE
INTERESTED.

THE TOPIC TODAY IS FAMILY PREPAREDNESS

DISASTERS OF ALL KINDS DISRUPT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES EVERY
YEAR. EACH DISASTER HAS LASTING EFFECTS...BOTH TO PEOPLE AND
PROPERTY. IF A DISASTER OCCURS IN YOUR COMMUNITY...LOCAL GOVERNMENT
AND DISASTER-RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS WILL TRY TO HELP YOU...BUT YOU
NEED TO BE READY AS WELL. LOCAL RESPONDERS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO REACH
YOU IMMEDIATELY...OR THEY MAY NEED TO FOCUS THEIR EFFORTS ELSEWHERE.
BEING PREPARED FOR A DISASTER CAN REDUCE FEAR...ANXIETY...AND LOSSES
THAT ACCOMPANY DISASTERS.

THERE ARE FIVE KEY ELEMENTS TO A DISASTER PLAN:

1...LEARN ABOUT POSSIBLE DANGERS IN YOUR AREA AND BECOME FAMILIAR
WITH YOUR COMMUNITY/S DISASTER RESPONSE PLAN. COMMON DISASTERS
IN IOWA AND NEBRASKA INCLUDE SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS...TORNADOES
AND FLOODING.

2...TALK TO YOUR FAMILY ABOUT WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF AN
EMERGENCY. PICK TWO LOCATIONS WHERE YOU WILL MEET-ONE CLOSE TO
YOUR HOME AND ANOTHER REMOVED FROM YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD TO BE USED
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO RETURN TO YOUR RESIDENCE.

3...DEVELOP A CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS PLAN TO INSURE THAT YOUR FAMILY
WILL BE ABLE TO STAY IN CONTACT IF YOU ARE SEPARATED DURING A
DISASTER.

4...CREATE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS KITS FOR YOUR HOME...OFFICE AND
CAR.

5...PRACTICE YOUR PLAN!

ASSEMBLE A DISASTER KIT

A DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT IS A COLLECTION OF BASIC ITEMS THAT MEMBERS
OF A HOUSEHOLD MAY NEED IN THE EVENT OF A DISASTER. AN EFFECTIVE
DISASTER KIT CONTAINS ENOUGH FOOD...WATER AND OTHER SUPPLIES FOR
EACH PERSON TO LAST THREE DAYS. HERE IS A BASIC LIST OF ITEMS TO
INCLUDE IN A KIT:
-FOOD AND WATER
-BATTERY OR HAND CRANK OPERATED RADIO
-FLASH LIGHT AND EXTRA BATTERIES
-FIRST AID SUPPLIES
-CLOTHING...SHOES AND BLANKETS
-WHISTLE
-CASH AND COINS
-PHOTOCOPIES OF IMPORTANT FAMILY DOCUMENTS SUCH AS IDS AND CREDIT
CARDS
-BABY NEEDS
-SANITATION ITEMS SUCH AS HAND SANITIZER AND TOILET PAPER
-SPECIALTY ITEMS SUCH AS PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS AND EYEGLASSES
-GAMES TO PASS THE TIME

DEVELOP A FAMILY EVACUATION PLAN EVACUATIONS ARE MORE COMMON THAN
PEOPLE REALIZE. HUNDREDS OF TIMES EACH YEAR...TRANSPORTATION AND
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS RELEASE HARMFUL SUBSTANCES...FORCING THOUSANDS
OF PEOPLE TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES. FIRE AND FLOODS CAUSE EVACUATIONS
EVEN MORE FREQUENTLY.

TIPS FOR A GOOD EVACUATION PLAN:
-PLAN ROUTES FROM YOUR RESIDENCE TO A SAFE LOCATION.
-PLAN FOR WHAT YOU WOULD NEED TO TAKE WITH YOU SHOULD YOU NEED TO
LEAVE YOUR HOME FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME.
-ENSURE ALL FAMILY MEMBERS KNOW WHERE TO GO SHOULD YOU BE SEPARATED.
-RADIO MESSAGES WILL INFORM YOU OF SPECIFIC ROUTES AND SHELTER AREAS
 SHOULD A MAJOR INCIDENT OCCUR.

IF YOU SHOULD BE EVACUATED...IT IS IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW RECOMMENDED
EVACUATION ROUTES...DO NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS AS THEY MAY BE BLOCKED. BE
ALERT FOR WASHED-OUT ROADS AND BRIDGES AND DOWNED POWER LINES. IF
YOU HAVE TIME...BE SURE TO SECURE YOUR HOME BEFORE LEAVING AND LET
OTHERS KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING.

DO NOT FORGET PETS IF YOU ARE LIKE MILLIONS OF ANIMAL OWNERS
NATIONWIDE...YOUR PET IS AN IMPORTANT MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY...SO
MAKE PLANS FOR YOUR PETS TOO! FOR PUBLIC HEALTH REASONS...MOST
SHELTERS DO NOT ACCEPT PETS. PREPARE A LIST OF KENNELS...FRIENDS AND
FAMILY MEMBERS WHO MAY BE ABLE TO CARE FOR YOUR PET IN AN EMERGENCY.
PACK AN EMERGENCY KIT FOR YOUR PETS AS WELL. THE KIT SHOULD INCLUDE
A SUPPLY OF PET FOOD... WATER...MEDICATIONS...VETERINARY RECORDS AND
ITEMS LIKE CAT LITTER. MAKE SURE IDENTIFICATION TAGS ARE UP TO DATE
AND SECURELY FASTENED TO YOUR PET/S COLLAR. IT IS ALSO A GOOD IDEA
TO HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH OF YOU AND YOUR PET AS THIS CAN ESTABLISH
OWNERSHIP IF YOUR PET IS LOST.

PREPARE YOUR HOME

THERE ARE NUMEROUS STEPS YOU CAN TAKE IN AND
AROUND YOUR HOME TO HELP LIMIT THE DAMAGE DONE BY SEVERE WEATHER.
CONSIDER TAKING THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS BEFORE SEVERE WEATHER BLOWS
THROUGH TOWN:

FLOODING
-ELEVATE THE FURNACE...WATER HEATER AND ELECTRIC PANEL IN YOUR HOME
IF YOU LIVE IN AN AREA THAT HAS A HIGH FLOOD RISK.
-CONSIDER INSTALLING SEWER BACKFLOW VALVES.
-ADD WATERPROOF VENEER TO EXTERIOR WALLS.

THUNDERSTORMS AND STRONG WINDS
-REMOVE DEAD OR ROTTING TREE BRANCHES THAT COULD FALL AND CAUSE
INJURY OR DAMAGE.
-SECURE OUTDOOR OBJECTS THAT COULD BLOW AWAY OR CAUSE DAMAGE.
-SHUTTER WINDOWS AND SECURE OUTSIDE DOORS.

THIS CONCLUDES SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK 2014.

$$

BRIAN E. SMITH
WARNING COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OMAHA/VALLEY NE
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/OMAHA



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