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TEMA Encourages Tennesseans to Prepare for Severe Weather Threats

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Tennessee’s Severe Weather Awareness Week 2024 began on Sunday, February 25 and continues through Friday, March 2. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and National Weather Service (NWS) are asking Tennesseans to make severe weather planning and preparedness a priority.

“Severe weather and flooding can occur at any time in Tennessee,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “During Severe Weather Awareness Week, we encourage Tennesseans to take time to familiarize themselves with their emergency plan and know what to do during severe weather events.”

A highlight of the week will be the statewide tornado drill at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 29. The drill will also include a statewide test of NOAA weather radios.

Each day during Severe Weather Awareness Week will feature a preparedness topic including flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, and the important role of SKYWARN Spotters.

NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches and nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are encouraged to become a spotter. Training is free and typically lasts about 2 hours. You’ll learn:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

Tennesseans can prepare for severe weather by stocking an emergency kit. At a minimum, emergency preparedness kits should include one gallon of water per day, per person for three to five days. Additional supplies include non-perishable food, flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, cell phone charger, copies of important family documents, pet food, and extra supplies of medications, especially for those with chronic health conditions.

Additional details about Severe Weather Awareness Week and how to become a SKYWARN spotter can be found at weather.gov/ohx/swaw2024.

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