Staying Safe in Spring Storms
Spring brings much-needed relief from winter, but it also is prime season for tornadoes, thunderstorms and floods.
Being prepared for severe weather is vital to the safety of you and your family. Consider these safety tips:
- Thunderstorms – If you can hear thunder, lightning is a danger. Take shelter if skies look threatening. Stay indoors, away from doors and windows. Avoid taking a shower or bath, and using the telephone. Because lightening can travel through electrical lines, turn off or unplug all electrical appliances.
- Tornadoes – Tornadoes are often accompanied by heavy rain, thunder, lightning or hail. In threatening weather, listen for authorized watches and warnings. If a tornado warning alarm sounds, take cover in a basement or first-floor, interior room without windows. Never stay inside a mobile home or take shelter beneath one; go to the nearest shelter or take cover in a ditch or depression in the ground away from the home.
- Floods – Floodwaters are extremely powerful. Just two feet of water can sweep away a car and as little as six inches can cause unstable footing. Remember that flood conditions change rapidly and water can be much deeper than it appears. If your home floods, turn off utilities and keep them off until authorities say it's safe to turn them on. Don’t pump water out of your basement until floodwater recedes. Avoid flood-weakened structures and be aware that floodwaters can be contaminated.
Create a disaster kit
A disaster kit is essential in severe weather or an emergency. Here are some basic items that should be kept together in a safe, waterproof and easy-to-access area:
First aid kit, including your family members' medications
Canned food and a can opener
Flashlights and extra batteries
- Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water