#SafePlaceSelfie

If there was one extreme weather preparedness action you want your loved ones to take, what would it be? For many, that one action is to know ahead of time where their safe place is located. Thank you for joining the National Weather Service and its Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors to take a “selfie” and posting with the hashtag #SafePlaceSelfie.

'How To' Guide

Note: These activities can be completed at home, but please be sure to follow the latest social-distancing and other health safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local health authorities.

One of the most essential preparedness actions anyone can do is to identify their safe locations from various extreme weather threats. Knowing where to go ahead of time can minimize hesitation and ensure your decisions are good ones even under great duress.

To encourage everyone to take some time and identify their safe places, we ask that you post a “selfie” photo using the hashtag #SafePlaceSelfie and challenge others to do the same by tagging them in your post -- other family members, friends, colleagues at school or work, or others in your social network. Imagine a “Weather-Ready Nation” where everyone knows where to go or where not to go, and when extreme weather is forecast, makes decisions to ensure their safety.

Here are some helpful tips as you take a big step toward greater preparedness:

Step #1: Think about what hazards are relevant to your area and those locations where you spend lots of time.

  • These can be frequent hazards like lightning, flash flooding, or extreme heat, or can be rare but high-impact hazards such as a tsunami.
  • Don’t limit yourself to just one selfie post. Take selfies in various locations dependent on these different hazards. For instance, your car can be an effective refuge from lightning, but is a dangerous option during a tornado warning or flash flooding. Home, office, school, gym, and athletic fields are all great locations to identify your safe place.
  • Maybe your most common hazards aren’t exactly weather events -- wildfires, rough surf/rip currents, earthquakes. These are all good hazards to know your safe place.

Step #2: Get Creative.

  • Have pets or children? Get them involved in the creative process. Have a pet? What is your plan for them if extreme winds threaten your home? Make things fun by including things you have in your emergency kit.
  • Bend the rules by thinking beyond just a physical location. For example, your safe location may be anywhere you have access to lifesaving warnings (e.g., NOAA Weather Radio, FEMA or commercial app) or could be your proximity to safety (e.g., swimming near lifeguard stands or with a swim buddy)

Step #3: Challenge others by tagging them in your post.

  • “Hey, @______, where is your safe place when extreme weather threatens?”
  • Encouraging others to participate makes you a force multiplier that could result in saving lives.

Step #4: Follow the action throughout the day.

  • Stay engaged by replying to, liking, and/or retweeting your favorite #SafePlaceSelfies.
Video Guide (+ ASL interpretation)

FAQ

What is a SafePlaceSelfie?

A SafePlaceSelfie is a photo capture of your safe location when a specific hazard threatens your area. It does not have to be an actual “selfie” of yourself, but could be a pet, an image of just the location, or some other creative way to illustrate the point that being “Weather-Ready” involves knowing where to go to stay safe.

Can I bend the rules at all?

Yes, we encourage people to be creative and share a post that adds value to the larger conversation on social media. Maybe, for example, your post focuses on places that are NOT safe and you want to show why they are not safe.

Why add the hashtag?

The best way to see other SafePlaceSelfies and to follow the discussion is to pull up the hashtag. Using the hashtag also helps us track all the participation going on, and can even help make #SafePlaceSelfie trend on social media.

Can I post more than one #SafePlaceSelfie?

Yes! We encourage everyone to think of multiple locations (work, home, school, gym, sports field) and multiple hazards (think beyond just tornadoes and severe weather, but also rip currents, tsunamis, flooding, lightning).

What if I am interested in taking more preparedness action?

NOAA and the National Weather Service partners with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on making our communities ready, responsive, and resilient to all types of hazards. There are comprehensive resources at weather.gov/wrn as well as www.ready.gov. These are two great places to start, but you can find safety information from many sources, including our weather industry, media, and non-profit partners.

For Broadcasters

If you're sitting in your home or at your desk at work looking at Twitter, ask yourself ‘what if?’ Where would you go if life-threatening weather approaches your area? Spend a few minutes going to that safe place, take a selfie, and share over social media using the #SafePlaceSelfie hashtag.

Trevor Boucher, Lead Meteorologist, Las Vegas Weather Forecast Office
A list of weather hazards and safe places from them. 1. Extreme Cold: Indoors with the heat on (or safely operated generators, not candles). 2. Extreme Heat: Indoors with the AC on. If outdoors, find shade and drink plenty of water. 3. Flash floods: Indoors (not basement/lowest level), higher ground. Avoid flooded roadways. 4. Lightning: An enclosed building away from plumbing & plugged in electronics. A hard-topped vehicle with the windows up. 5. Wind: In a sturdy building, away from trees
A partial list of safe places from weather hazards. (NOAA)