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Planning Ahead: The #SafePlaceSelfie Campaign

Planning Ahead: The #SafePlaceSelfie Campaign

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

In the face of extreme weather conditions, one of the most important life-saving actions anyone can take is to identify a “safe” location, as knowing where to go ahead of time can minimize hesitation and promote good decision making -- even under duress. That’s where #SafePlaceSelfie comes in.

Established in 2014 as a way to encourage planning and safety, the NWS worked with the larger weather community to create the #SafePlaceSelfie campaign, encouraging individuals, organizations, and communities to post a selfie on social media in their designated safe place and to challenge others to do the same. 

The hashtag’s genesis in 2014 began when several individuals and local news channel meteorologists started using it during extreme weather events. It wasn’t until 2016, in the aftermath of the 2015 Dallas Fort Worth Christmas tornado outbreak, that the national campaign began. By 2017, the campaign was widely adopted by the NWS, FEMA and the National Weather Association, and the agency celebrated its first “Safe Place Selfie Week” in April of that year. 

In just a few short years, the social media challenge has made enormous strides in increasing preparedness and safety in the face of adverse weather conditions. In addition to prompting individuals, groups, organizations, and communities to think about their safe place, the campaign has inspired additional preparedness actions, such as creating an emergency plan or putting together an emergency kit. Reaching millions of social media users across the country and resulting in even more posts, the #SafePlaceSelfie campaign continues to increase its impact every year. 

The #SafePlaceSelfie campaign is just one part of the National Weather Service’s mission of building a Weather-Ready Nation, a place where everyone is prepared for and safe during extreme weather events. By working to create a nation of resilience and preparedness in the face of adverse weather, the NWS can continue to strive towards its mission of protecting lives and property. 

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