FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee and the National Weather Service are teaming up to promote Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky, March 2-8. Severe Weather Preparedness Week encourages individuals, families, businesses and communities to know about severe weather risks and take action to prepare for them. Each year Kentuckians are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and other types of severe weather, despite  advance warning. In 2013, there were seven weather related fatalities reported in Kentucky, five by drowning while driving through flooded roadways and two from lightning strikes.

Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual in every region of the Commonwealth. Because of this, we are asking you to BE AWARE - BE PREPARED - HAVE A PLAN!

 . BE AWARE: "Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives," said Mike Jones, interim director of KYEM.

 . BE PREPARED: "Preparedness means understanding that disasters can happen without notice, and taking necessary measures in advance is the simplest way to care for yourself and members of your family when severe  weather strikes," said Buddy Rogers, chair of the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee.

 . HAVE A PLAN: "Know your risks and have a plan in place," said John Gordon, Louisville National Weather Office Meteorologist in Charge. "Preparedness starts at home. It starts with being aware of conditions and situations that threaten you and your family's safety and then taking appropriate steps to mitigate those risks."

 As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, a Statewide Tornado Safety Drill is scheduled to take place March 4 at 10:07 a.m. Eastern time. The National Weather Service will trigger the drill using a code which will activate NOAA Weather Alert Radios,outdoor warning sirens, and broadcast media alerts. If inclement weather is in the forecast that day, the drill will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to be prepared:

Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, get a NOAA Weather Radio, and sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action:  Take steps to making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. This includes developing a family communication plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place. Take time to practice the Statewide Tornado Safety Drill and discuss the drill with your family and co-workers.

Be an Example:  Share your severe weather plan and preparedness actions with your family and friends. Many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe, why not use it to prepare?  People are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provides the perfect platform to model preparedness actions for others.

Previously, Gov. Steve Beshear signed a proclamation naming March 2 - 8 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky. The proclamation, information on KYEM, additional resources and severe weather safety tips can be found at www.kyem.ky.gov. Here you can also follow KYEM on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Weather forecast, related links and additional weather preparedness information are also available at

www.ready.gov and www.weather.gov.




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