ORLANDO, Fla., March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® today unveiled #HurricaneStrong, a new national hurricane resilience initiative to increase safety and reduce economic losses through collaboration with the most recognized public and private organizations in the disaster safety movement, including FEMA, and NOAA/National Weather Service. FLASH Leadership Partner and former National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read, joined FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb during the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando to introduce the effort with a presentation and short video.
The effort comes at a critical time as public awareness about hurricane readiness is declining due to fewer land-falling Atlantic storms.
The new initiative will unfold annually and bring together many established, hurricane outreach and education efforts in communities across the U.S., while adding new elements and events. The 2016 effort will align with the White House observance of Hurricane Preparedness Week, the NOAA/National Weather Service/National Hurricane Center Hurricane Awareness Tour, and National Preparedness Month. Events, workshops and leadership summits will continue until the end of hurricane season on November 30 until they resume next spring.
"We created #HurricaneStrong to help reverse the understandable trend of decreased public attention that can come following multiple years with quieter hurricane seasons," said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. "We need to reach those in harm's way with the message that they are the most critical decision-makers ahead of a storm, and their actions will be the most important factor in their survival and recovery after a storm strikes."
"Through this integrated effort, we can increase hurricane resilience in the United States," said Dr. Knabb. "All of the technologies we apply to making the best possible forecasts do not matter if communities, families, and individuals are not prepared far in advance. This initiative is a big step forward."
Lifesaving and property-protecting information from FLASH, FEMA Building Science Branch, FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division, and the National Hurricane Center will be shared through business summits, digital channels, home improvement store workshops, lesson plans for schools, outreach, and a lighthearted social media campaign featuring a Hurricane Strong "Pose".
Similar to a Heisman Trophy stance, the #HurricaneStrong "Pose" is the campaign call to arms for kids and adults alike to demonstrate support for hurricane resilience by pledging to take these steps:
- Personal Safety - Know your evacuation zone
- Financial Security - Have an insurance check-up
- Family Preparedness - Build a disaster supply kit
- Damage Prevention - Strengthen your home
- Community Service - Help your neighbor
Participants can post their pledge along with a picture on Twitter with clenched fists, flexed muscles, and arms in the shape of a hurricane using the hashtag #HurricaneStrong.
The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and man-made disasters. The FLASH partnership includes more than 120 innovative and diverse organizations that share a vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation, including: BASF, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, Huber Engineered Woods, International Code Council, Kohler® Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm®, and USAA®. In 2008, FLASH® and Disney opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and access free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org, calling toll-free (877) 221- SAFE (7233), following @federalalliance on Twitter, Facebook.com/federalalliance, and the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.
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SOURCE Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)