Supporting National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week 2014 Poster

NCDC is proud to support National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 2–8, 2014. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NOAA, National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort designed to increase awareness of the severe weather that affects everyone and to encourage individuals, families, businesses, and communities to know their risk, take action, and be a positive example.

In 2013, there were seven weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included five severe weather and tornado events, a major flood event, and the western drought and heat wave. Overall, these events killed 109 people and had significant economic effects on the nation.

In addition to information about these billion-dollar disasters, NCDC stewards historical severe weather data in the Storm Events Database. This database documents the occurrence of storms and other significant weather phenomena that cause loss of life, injuries, significant property damage, or disrupt commerce. It may also include rare and unusual weather events, such as snow flurries in South Florida, and significant events, such as record temperature extremes or precipitation. Currently, the online database includes events dating back to 1996, but events back to 1950 will be included in an updated version coming soon.

NCDC receives storm data from the National Weather Service (NWS), who gathers it from a variety of sources including emergency management officials, local law enforcement officials, skywarn spotters, NWS damage surveys, newspaper clipping services, the insurance industry, and the public. Due to the amount of time it takes to collect, validate, and enter post-storm information, NCDC regularly receives storm data from the NWS approximately 60–90 days after the end of the data month.

This historical archive in the Storm Events Database is just one way to help you know your risk of encountering severe weather, which is one of the steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others. Being weather ready is a collective effort. It takes the whole community to effectively prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against damages caused by tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and other severe weather.

Check out National Severe Weather Preparedness Week to learn more about preparing for severe weather. By preparing our communities, we are able to build a Weather-Ready Nation—one that is resilient in the face of extreme weather.

For more detailed information on the Storm Events Database, see the Storm Data FAQ Page.