The National Weather Service is asking users to take a “safe place selfie” and post it on social media on Wednesday in an effort to increase the need for extreme weather. The spring campaign takes place as the country approaches the peak of tornadoes, during which tornadoes fall in the plains – in the south in late April, in May – in June.
The weather service hopes that the campaign will help users to consciously think և find out about safety in their homes, workplaces, and at the same time raise awareness through social media about the need for it.
Dozens of lives were saved in Alabama just two weeks ago when residents implemented their shelter plans and survived massive, devastating tornadoes. Meteorologists are optimistic that the survival stories that emerged from the event will inspire similar rescue operations in the future.
You can participate by tweeting with the hashtag #SafePlaceSelfie.
“It’s a readiness և action,” Doug Hilderbrand, head of the National Weather Service’s Resilience and Resistance Program, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “We ask people to be really ready [in this campaign]; it’s action. ”
The campaign was born in 2016, inspired by the National Weather Association of Social Media. This prompted the National Weather Service to spread the word եցնել to increase the trend of safe selfies on a nationwide scale.
“I said, ‘I really like this idea, this has to be a national campaign,'” Hilderbrand said. Through the Weather-Ready Nation program, we have built some kind of external engagement over the past five years. I’m really excited for tomorrow [Wednesday]»
Hilderbrand said the Weather Service is working with the media’s emergency management to raise awareness ahead of the worst part of the bad weather season.
“You can warn of a tornado, but if [someone doesn’t] “If there is an adequate safe place, that warning is in vain,” said Hilderbrand.
Last year, the digital campaign had more than 90 million impressions on Twitter, reached 23,000,000 users, received 2,500 selfies. Users took photos of themselves in their safe places, usually the inner room on the lowest floor of a house or business. Many brought animals, children or partners, and tied bicycle helmets.
“I want to see it [selfie number] 100,000, ”said Hilderbrand.
He intends to ask for help from professional athletes and celebrities to spread the word even more.
“Celebrities tend to come with disasters,” Hilderbrand said. “I would like to see how they come in more practical.”
Hilderbrand says the campaign is not just about finding a safe place in the house, but making sure it is ready – stocked with things like bicycle helmets or water before severe weather strikes.
“You do not want to waste time going to the garage, picking up helmets or anything else [when a warning is issued]”- said Hilderbrand. “You want to think ahead. That’s why these views of the Storm Prediction Center are so important. You want to be [preparing for it] from those viewing periods. “
This means providing your shelter with everything you need: water, gloves, shoe racks, air horns, snacks, games to keep the kids entertained, and more.
Hilderbrand also stressed that the “safe place selfie” mentality should not be just a one-time thing. It has to be what people keep in mind throughout the year.
“When you get to the golf course, ask yourself, ‘What is my safe haven from lightning?’ Are they offering shelter here in more open areas? “When you are in the gym, at school or at work, know your safe place,” said Hilderbrand. “It’s just like getting on a plane. You look at those different emergencies. ”
The goal is that when a disaster strikes, users already know what to do instinctively, spontaneously, before training or preparing. That’s why people have fire training. Making habits matters.
“It simply came to our notice then [thunderstorms]”- said Hilderbrand. “Here we are really talking about a complete portfolio of weather hazards. “One safe place for you can be dangerous for another.”
That means knowing exactly what the risks are in your area, be it tornadoes, forest fires, floods, hailstorms, or any combination. Tornado shelter at the lowest level of the habitat actually counteracts flood evacuation as you move to higher ground. Knowing your safe place is fraught with dangers that may affect you.
“And often, when you travel to new places, there are different dangers that you can not think of,” said Hilderbrand. “Study a little. “You may be from Kansas, but if you go to California, think, ‘What if there’s an earthquake?’
And first of all, Hilderbrand said that it refers to relatives, loved ones, strangers. He hopes that this campaign will start home conversations about sheltering from dangerous weather.
“Especially for the elderly, the vulnerable, call them and ask, ‘Do you know where your safe place is?’ said Hilderbrand.
Less than two weeks later, in the state of Nanafalia, Alan County, three people were urged by their leader to call for a tornado warning and told them not to stay in their mobile homes. They took refuge in a locally built area about a mile away and returned home to find their dilapidated home. Simple calls can save lives.
“Be that hero,” said Hilderbrand.