Red Cross urges residents to prepare for severe weather
With the possibility of severe weather, including a risk of tornadoes, across much of the state the American Red Cross urges those in the path of this line of storms to prepare now. Stay weather aware and listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Red Cross disaster workers are on standby to help neighbors in need affected by the storms. Review the tips below for ways to keep you and your loved ones safe.
THUNDERSTORM SAFETY If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunderclap. If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.
- Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.
- Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.
- Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.
- If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
- If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. You cannot predict how deep the water may be.
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
- Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
- Help people who may need special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
TORNADO SAFETY With this extreme weather, tornadoes are also possible. Tornadoes are violent: they can completely destroy well-made structures, uproot trees and hurl objects through the air like deadly missiles.
Although severe tornadoes are most common in the Plains States, they can happen anywhere. Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe.
- Know the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning.
- A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible.
- A tornado WARNING means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon. GO TO YOUR SAFE PLACE IMMEDIATELY.
- Identify a safe place in your home where household members and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
- In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor.
- In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. No mobile home, however, it is configured, is safe in a tornado.
Download Red Cross APPS. The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, shelter locations and safety advice. The Red Cross First Aid and Pet First Aid apps provide instant access to information on handling the most common emergencies. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. Parents can also download fun ways to teach children what to do in case of a flood, hurricane and other emergencies.