This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in TNWith 2013 already setting a record for Middle Tennessee's second-highest month ever for tornado outbreaks, emergency managers, meteorologists and broadcasters are engaging in a coordinated campaign to promote Tennessee Severe Weather Awareness Week, Feb. 17, to Feb. 23, 2013.
"We sometimes wait until the storm is upon us to think preparedness," said Jim Bassham, director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). "If we consider the lingering impact of Hurricane Sandy and our own experiences with tornadoes already in 2013, it should be pretty clear that waiting to be ready is not a plan that's going to save your life or the lives of your family."
Throughout the week, TEMA, the National Weather Service (NWS), Tennessee Association of Broadcasters (TAB) and other supporting groups will conduct educational activities and drills to help people prepare for tornadoes, damaging winds, flash floods, lightning and hail.
The NWS and its Skywarn Storm Spotters Network will focus each day of the week on safety steps and warnings for specific weather threats, such as lightning and flash flooding. For Tennessee's number one threat, tornadoes, NWS with conduct this year's statewide tornado drill around 9 a.m., CST, on Wed., Feb. 20.
"As we've already seen in 2013 severe weather can happen any time in Tennessee, but the greatest threat occurs from March through May", said Tom Johnstone, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the NWS in Nashville. "Severe Weather Awareness Week in February is a chance for Tennesseans to learn about, and prepare for, all of the hazards the upcoming severe weather season will bring."
TEMA, NWS and TAB also plan to host a press conference on Wed., Feb. 20, 2013 at the NWS' Old Hickory, Tenn. office to highlight and ceremonially sign the new state Emergency Alerting System (EAS) plan.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.