Five Ways to Get Weather-Ready for Fall

Date Posted: August 29, 2014
FACETs is a revolutionary, next-generation watch/warning concept being explored by the National Severe Storms Laboratory

For Kids!

Kids can be weather-ready too! Go on an educational adventure with Owlie, the NWS mascot, to learn more about severe weather. Complete this free course and you can become a Young Meteorologist.

About NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation

NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events.

Record-breaking snowfall, cold temperatures, extended drought, high heat, severe flooding, violent tornadoes, and massive hurricanes have all combined to reach the greatest number of multi-billion dollar weather disasters in the nation’s history.  

The devastating impacts of extreme events can be reduced through improved readiness, which is why the Weather-Ready Nation initiative is so important. Through operational initiatives, NOAA’s National Weather Service is transforming its operations to help America respond. In the end, emergency managers, first responders, government officials, businesses and the public will be empowered to make fast, smart decisions to save lives and livelihoods.

When it comes to severe weather, we ask that you know your risk, take action and be an example in your community. Be a Force of Nature and help the National Weather Service build a Weather-Ready Nation, one that is prepared for severe weather whenever and wherever it strikes.



Football. Kids returning to school. The crunch of leaves underfoot. Fall means shorter days and cooler temperatures, and for many, it is their favorite season for all these reasons and more.

But this colorful season also contains significant weather hazards - ones that you can prepare for. Be a Force of Nature by knowing your risks, taking action and being an example in your community.

Follow these five simple steps to be ready for the hazards of fall:

  1. Prepare for Hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season typically runs until November 30. As Hurricane Sandy demonstrated, significant storms can strike well beyond the summer months. Make sure you’re ready with an Emergency Supplies Kit that includes three days of food and water, batteries, flashlights, vital medications and other items.

  2. Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Floods aren’t just a spring phenomenon - they can happen any time after a major rainfall. Never drive into standing water - just two feet of rushing water is enough to carry away most vehicles. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

  3. Tornadoes: Know Where to Go. Tornadoes are still a danger in the fall, particularly in the South.  Know where to go in case of a tornado. Find an underground shelter, safe room or windowless interior room or hallway to shelter in. At home and at work, take a few minutes to practice getting to shelter. Walk the route. When it comes to tornadoes, know where to go.

  4. Practice Wildfire Safety. If you live in an area prone to wildfires, prepare your home by cleaning out gutters, inspecting chimneys, clearing brush and other foliage from around your home and by taking other defensive measures. Create a Family Communications Plan so that you’ll be able to get in touch with loved ones in case a wildfire separates you.

  5. Prepare for Winter. Winter storms can knock out power for days at a time. Make sure that your family is ready with the supplies that they’ll need to survive. This means creating an Emergency Supplies Kit that should include a NOAA Weather Radio, shovels, blankets and clothing to stay warm.  If you have a generator, be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning – do not use indoors!

Now that you’re weather-ready, spread the word. Tell your friends on Facebook  and Twitter that you’re prepared for fall weather hazards such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires and winter storms.

Your actions will inspire others to be prepared. Be a Force of Nature  to help make all of us safer.

America’s PrepareAthon!

America’s PrepareAtho

Want to help your hometown become weather-ready? Be smart, take part and prepare during America’s PrepareAthon! in September.

America’s PrepareAthon! is a new national community-based campaign for action that focuses on increasing emergency preparedness through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises. National PrepareAthon! Days are held every spring and fall. During National Preparedness Month we ask you, your family, community and workplace to take action by planning a National PrepareAthon! Day on or around September 30.

Visit the America’s PrepareAthon web site to get helpful guides, playbooks for events and free promotional materials including banners, posters, logos, e-invites and more.