Governor Rick Perry today urged Texans to prepare for severe storms which historically impact the state in the Spring by designating March 3-9, 2008 as Severe Weather Awareness Week.

"Severe Weather Awareness Week reminds Texans that dangerous climate conditions can develop quickly, so it's vital that we plan ahead for such threatening situations," Perry said. "By building a culture of preparedness, we can take steps to reduce risk, ensure safety and ultimately save lives."

During Severe Weather Awareness Week Texans are advised to assemble a "readiness kit" of important emergency supplies including a first aid kit, bottled water and non-perishable food; and are encouraged to keep a battery-operated radio or television set to receive important information during storms, designate a place to go in case of evacuation, and develop an emergency plan for communicating with relatives and friends.

While dangerous storms can strike at any time of year, March, April and May bring the greatest potential for violent weather events in Texas, including damaging thunderstorms, hail storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding. According to the National Weather Service, Texas leads the nation with an average of 139 tornado strikes per year and often suffers the highest resulting death toll of any other state. Additionally, Texas endures the second-highest level of lightning fatalities and often leads in the number of flash flood deaths per year. A majority of these victims suffer due to failure to take proper precautions in such emergencies.

For more information about Severe Weather Awareness Week, please visit the Governor's Division of Emergency Management Web site: www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem and the National Weather Service Southern Region Headquarters Web site.