2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week
2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week is February 11 – 15. The goal of the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week campaign is to promote preparedness by all Floridians for all types of hazards.
In recognition of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and its partners with host events at seven elementary schools across the state celebrating the winners of this year’s Severe Weather Awareness Week poster contest. A Statewide Tornado Drill will be held on Friday, February 15 at 10:10 a.m. FDEM encourages all state agencies, county officials, and elected officials to take this opportunity to educate employees, family and friends about what to do in case of severe weather.
Statewide Tornado Drill Timeline
Contest Announcement of Winners and Finalists
The focus on Monday, February 11 is Lightning
With an average of 1.4 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes each year, no other state in the country experiences more lightning strikes than Florida. The key to remaining safe from a lightning strike is to keep an eye to the sky and watch for darkening skies on the horizon along with distant rumbles of thunder. Being outside is never safe during a thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder, then you are close enough to be struck by lightning! Always remember the 30/30 rule: Go inside if you hear thunder within 30 seconds of a lightning flash. Wait at least 30 minutes after you hear thunder before going back outside.
The focus on Tuesday, February 12 is Marine Hazards and Rip Currents
Fair weather and fine seas treat Florida beachgoers to very agreeable conditions most of the time. However, weather and water can change rapidly. Dangerous rip currents, waves, lightning, and waterspouts are among the marine hazards facing anyone who enjoys Florida’s beaches. Rip currents can pull unprepared swimmers away from shore and into deeper offshore waters. Always check beach warning flags before swimming and remember, if caught in a rip current, Don’t Fight, Swim Left or Right!
The focus on Wednesday, February 13 is Tornadoes and Thunderstorms
Florida has more thunderstorms than anywhere else in the United States. All thunderstorms are considered dangerous because they contain lightning and can also produce damaging winds, heavy rain which may cause flooding, tornadoes and hail. Florida tornadoes come in all shapes and sizes, and can occur year-round, although most occur in the summer during the afternoon. It is important to know be aware of weather forecasts for your area and know what you would do in the event of a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch or Warning.
The National Weather Service and the Florida Division of Emergency Management will conduct the Statewide Tornado Drill at 10:10 a.m. Eastern Time (9:10 a.m. Central Time), on Friday, February 15th, 2013.
Floridians are asked to consider themselves under a tornado watch during the morning of February 15, 2013. A Tornado Watch means that you should closely monitor the weather and be prepared to go to a safe place in the event of a tornado warning. Once the drill begins you should consider yourself in a Tornado Warning. A Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted or has been picked up on radar in your area. This means that you need to take shelter immediately in a safe sturdy structure. Even if you do not participate in the morning drill, all schools, families and businesses are encouraged to talk about their tornado safety plan that day.
The focus on Thursday, February 14 is Hurricanes and Flooding
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1st and continues through November 30th. Although the number of tropical storms and hurricanes typically peaks during August and September, it is important to remember that Florida can be impacted by tropical weather systems any time during the six-month-long season. Hurricanes and tropical storms can bring dangerous weather, including strong winds, storm surge and coastal flooding, flooding from heavy rain, inland flooding and tornadoes. Be sure to have a family and business disaster plan and emergency supply kit to be prepared!
The focus on Friday, February 15 is Temperature Extremes and Wildfires
Florida sees a peak of activity beginning in January and continuing until the onset of more frequent rain during the wet season, usually in June. However, wildfires can occur at any time of year. A typical year in Florida will see over 4,600 fires burn nearly 110,000 acres of land. Florida is also home to a wide variety of temperatures that can reach dangerous levels. Always take necessary precautions if you will be exposed to extreme temperatures. Pay attention to fire weather warnings, know what you should do to make your home Firewise, and NEVER play with matches!
February 15, 2013 9:03