Severe Weather Preparedness

8 things we can do NOW to prepare for severe weather and climate events

“Severe Weather Preparedness Week” was last week and “Flood Safety Awareness Week” is next week, but it doesn’t matter when we start learning about and preparing for all types of natural disasters as long as we do it PRIOR to the next severe weather event. 

What we absolutely do not want to do is end up regretting our level of preparedness AFTER the next disaster strikes!

Here in Wilmington, NC, where Green Hybrid Habitats is headquartered, we are exposed to just about every type of natural disaster:

Flooding? Yes, and often. As Hurricane Florence revealed, not many feet of elevation keep the city of Wilmington from becoming an island. 

Hurricane? Umm, yeah. 

Fire? Absolutely, as there is often some part of the NC/SC region that is in drought and thus highly combustible.

Earthquake? We’ve felt them, although so far we haven’t been hit with any serious trembler damage for a long time.

Tornado? Well, there was an F3 in the neighboring county just last month that churned a path over 2 miles, took 3 lives, injured 10 more, and caused damage to at least 60 homes, multiple commercial buildings, and an untold number of trees.

Southeast NC can add severe heat – an annual occurrence – and the occasional severe cold snap – deadly because it seldom occurs – to this list as well.

These types of disasters remain at arms-length for many of us who have never experienced significant loss in property damage or worse, from the severe injury or death of close friends or family members. It is easy for the rest of us to become complacent as years go by without a serious incident that shakes us back to the reality that natural disasters are always coming.

FEMA is pushing preparedness strategies that target entire communities (and by default, the entire country) to mitigate the effects of natural disasters before they hit and to ensure the least amount of damage and loss of life afterward. As family members, friends, and neighbors, we should be working as well toward preparing ourselves in the smartest ways to mitigate and withstand whatever effects are thrown at us by natural disaster events.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download a weather app if you haven’t yet, and set-up severe weather notifications through the app.  Review this cnet list of the Best Weather Apps of 2021  as well as offerings from your local news channel.

2. Understand the difference between a “Watch” and a “Warning”, and know what to do when you hear the outdoor warning sirens sound.

       3. Follow FEMA’s instructions on preparing for every type of natural disaster.

       4. Prep a “Go Bag” that is easy to find and always at the ready.

       5.Review websites such as and which are full of useful tips and disaster information.

       6.Review for its links to “Family Emergency Plan”, “Disaster Supply Kits”, and “NOAA              Weather Radio”.

        7. Know the time of year and length of the different disaster seasons.

        8.Take an online (or in-person) course from the FEMA-created, National Preparedness Course Catalog.

The most effective disaster mitigation strategy is, unsurprisingly, the one where everyone does their part. It only takes a few hours to get prepared and an occasional review to stay prepared. Don’t be left wondering when disaster strikes!


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