Florida Division of Emergency Management and American Red Cross Announce 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week

FLORIDA DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND AMERICAN RED CROSS ANNOUNCE 2013 SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and the Florida Chapters of the American Red Cross announce the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week. This annual public awareness campaign provides an opportunity for teachers to educate students on the importance of being prepared in the event of severe weather. The 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida will be Monday, February 11, through Friday, February 15, 2013.

“In the 13th year of the program, the Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week is a reminder of the importance of preparedness year-round for all Floridians,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “The partnership between the Division and the American Red Cross Chapters throughout Florida is the perfect opportunity to promote a culture of preparedness across Florida. When you educate students on preparedness they get excited and share with their families and they grow up to be prepared.”

Severe Weather Awareness Week includes a poster contest for Florida’s elementary school students and a video public service announcement (PSA) contest for Florida’s middle and high school students. This year, the poster contest will include seven winners selected from across the state. One winner each from middle and high school will be selected for the video PSA contest.

“We are delighted to have a continuing partnership with the Division of Emergency Management on the annual poster contest,” said Katie Sherk, of the American Red Cross. “It’s an inspiring outreach effort that is especially rewarding when we receive the student’s entries. It really does get our youth engaged in disaster preparedness in a way that is helping to build a culture of preparedness in Florida.”

Annual Poster Contest The poster contest to open to all elementary school students in Florida’s including private and charter schools and those enrolled in home-school programs. Posters should feature what severe weather in Florida means to the student. Poster submissions must be postmarked by January 18, 2013 and sent to the Capitol Area Chapter of the Red Cross in Tallahassee. Winners for the contest will be announced Friday, February 1. Details on the contest can be found at www.FloridaDisaster.org/swaw.

Annual Video PSA Contest The video PSA contest is open to all Florida middle and high school students, including private and charter schools and those enrolled in home-school programs. Entries should be a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) that incorporates a safety or preparedness message relating to the following “Know Your Zone” topics: Flood Zone, Evacuation Zone, or Storm Surge Zone. The winning video will be professionally re-produced for broadcast use by the Division of Emergency Management in their statewide public awareness campaign. Final digital videos should be submitted via the FDEM Video Portal at www.KidsGetAPlan.com. All entries must be uploaded by January 18, 2013. Winning entries will be announced Friday, February 1.

For complete poster and video PSA contest rules and topic information, go to www.FloridaDisaster.org/SWAW or www.KidsGetAPlan.com. As additional details become available regarding prizes and partners, information will be posted on the website.

Visit www.FloridaDisaster.org to Get A Plan! and follow FDEM on Twitter at @FLSERT, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and on Google+ at FLSERT