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Community Preparedness - March Tag Lines and Do It Yourself (DIY) Tips


Severe weather can happen during any season and impact any part of our country. Spring is a time of transition, when late-season snowstorms can impact the East Coast and the Northern Plains, thunderstorms rip across the South and Midwest, rivers overflow their banks and heat waves begin in the Southwest. Don’t let this dangerous season catch you unaware. Get ready for spring with just a few simple steps: Know Your Risk, Take Action and Be a Force of Nature.


This 2 in 1 resource is to provide you with Do It Yourself (DIY) tools and tips that make it easy for you to lead by example. Included in this email:

·         A DIY tagline and/or banner that folks can voluntarily add to their email signature block to continually direct readers to preparedness resources.

·         DIY preparedness tips culled from the toolkit, personal experience and other resources to reinforce the new month’s Preparedness Themes.


Our goal is to provide tools that everyone can use and share to spread the message. We are always open to any feedback or suggestions. These DIY tools will always be synchronized with ongoing seasonal preparedness themes throughout the year.




Add the banner below to your emails:


This month’s banner, when clicked, will link you directly to the tornado resources provided by America’s PrepareAthon!



Directions: If you are using Outlook:


Step One: Left click on the banner and select “copy”

Step Two: Open a new email and go to the “Insert” Tab

Step Three: Click on “Signature” and select “signature…”

Step Four: Click in the Box at the bottom (where your can edit your current Signature), and scroll to the end.

Step Five: Left hand click in the box and select “paste” and the banner will appear.

Step Six: Click “Okay”


MARCH DIY tips can be posted on bulletin boards, reinforced at meetings, be adapted into talking points in any venue, to Enforce taking Preparedness ACTIONS:

ü  Action 1: Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Be sure to include in your kit enough food and water to last for 3 days for each person in your home.

ü  Action 2: Trim tree branches away from your house and powerlines and secure loose gutters and shutters.

ü  Action 3: Learn your local evacuation routes and make a map of them in your emergency kit. Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.

ü  Action 4: Get an extra set of house and car keys made for your emergency kit.

ü  Action 5: During severe weather Wireless Emergency Alerts can save your life. Watch how and sign up now! 

ü  Action 6: Take CPR training so you can help someone hurt during a tornado or severe weather event.

ü  Action 7: Think about the safest place you can take shelter in your house if you need to shelter-in-place. Avoid locations with windows and exterior walls. The safest place is usually a basement or interior bottom-floor bathroom


Severe Weather Safety:

Severe Thunderstorms: A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people some years than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding. High winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages. Every year people are killed or seriously injured because they didn't hear or ignored severe thunderstorms warnings.

  • Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! Don't wait for rain. Lightning can strike out of a clear blue sky. Learn more about lightning safety.
  • Avoid electrical equipment and corded telephones. Cordless phones, cell phones and other wireless handheld devices are safe to use.
  • Keep away from windows.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends.
  • If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe
  • Include the phone number for your local power company in your cell phone so you can report outages.


  • The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.
  • If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
  • Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.
  • If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building.
  • If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.


  • If you see large objects flying past while you are driving, pull over and park. You now have two choices:
    • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
    • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, in a deep ditch for instance, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • If you are driving and aren't near a sturdy building, hold the steering wheel with both hands and slow down.
  • Keep a distance from high profile vehicles such as trucks, buses and vehicles towing trailers. One strong gust of wind can be enough to flip one of these trailers onto its side.

Contact Information

FEMA Region III External Affairs
Department of Health and Human Resources Logo
Center for Threat Preparedness | 505 Capitol Street, Suite 200, Charleston, WV 25301 | Ph: 304.558.6900 | Fx: 304.558.0464
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