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Floods and the Awesome Power

Floods and the Awesome Power

By Emily Senesac (emily.senesac@noaa.gov)

For as long as the National Weather Service has been forecasting and observing, extreme weather events have impacted individuals and communities across the country. Severe weather affects everyone, but it can pose unique and difficult challenges for people with disabilities. Through the years, several efforts have been put into place to provide weather safety information everyone can access.

For example, the NWS Heritage Projects Team recently found, tucked away in a file, a braille version of the NWS’ “Floods: The Awesome Power” brochure created in 2010 to provide important safety information on flash flood procedures and risks to the visually impaired. 

More recently, the NWS worked with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community to develop a storm safety slogan to accompany the long-running “When thunder roars, go indoors.” “See a flash, dash inside” was created in 2016.

Additionally, NOAA All-Hazards Radio communicates weather information to the hearing-impaired using visual and tactile features like vibration patterns and text display. These radios are portable, battery-powered, and programmable to any state/county.


To aid individuals with intellectual disabilities, the NWS has created symbol-supported weather safety materials that cover a wide range of weather categories. This way, individuals in all geographical areas can have relevant information and can better understand extreme weather hazards.

Today, the widespread use of technology has made many print materials obsolete. These resources and more are available online and are accessible for all communities. Now and in the future, the NWS is committed to providing necessary information for everyone, regardless of community, in order to protect life and property.

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