Tulsa urges Severe Weather preparedness

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Updated: 3/01/2013 3:56 pm Published: 3/01/2013 3:54 pm

The City of Tulsa joins with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to encourage Tulsans to "Be A Force of Nature" during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 3-9, 2013.

The federal agencies are working to increase awareness of severe weather and motivate individuals, families, businesses and communities to prepare themselves for severe weather events.

Each year many Americans are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and other severe weather. In 2012 there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries.

Tornadoes can occur anywhere in the nation, but Oklahoma, because of its geographic location, experiences more tornadic storms than most states. Floods are another threat and while Tulsa has reduced flood damage and improved stormwater drainage in many areas through its award-winning flood mitigation program, flooding is still a potential hazard in many parts of the city when heavy rainfall occurs.

Flood insurance is available for all Tulsa property owners and can be purchased from the same agents who provide other casualty insurance. Flood insurance takes 30 days to go into effect after purchase.

Tulsa's emergency planners, including the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency (TAEMA), encourage Tulsans to take steps to prepare for severe weather threats, including:

• Create a family communications plan

• Put together an emergency kit

• Obtain and use a NOAA weather radio.

Tulsa soon will have an emergency alert system that allows area residents to subscribe to receive timely notices by e-mail, text message or telephone.

Citizens can get more information on planning and preparing for emergencies at FEMA's website. A Spanish-language version is also available at www.listo.gov.

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