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Severe Weather Safety Tips: Prepare for Severe Weather

Severe Weather Safety Tips: Prepare for Severe Weather

By the time severe weather hits, it is usually too late to begin planning. The grocery stores are packed with people battling over the few items on the empty shelves, and highways are backed up for miles away. Do not get left empty-handed. Check out our tips on how you can continue to enjoy the simple things in life while keeping your family safe and staying prepared for emergencies. 

Hurricane Readiness 

The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30, and it’s expected to be pretty active this year.  In the Northeast region, we have already seen power outages due to Tropical Storm Henri and flash flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Although hurricanes in this part of the country do not make it to landfall often, when storms do make landfall, for some, the devastation may take them by surprise. Take extra precautions to keep your family safe. Ready.gov can provide you with more information on hurricanes and help your family create an effective safety plan.

Tornados

Unfortunately, tornadoes can hit your home unexpectedly. Tornado warnings may only give you minutes to seek safety. If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, get educated on the alert systems, local shelters, and plan with your family.

  • If you live in a manufactured home, try to evacuate at the earliest tornado warning possible.
  • Seek shelter in a sturdy building and stay away from windows and other areas such as doorways.
  • If you are stuck on the roads or highways when a tornado strikes, stop driving and seek shelter. If seeking shelter is not feasible, stop driving and be sure to keep your seatbelt on. Lower your head as low as possible to protect yourself from any windows that may break.

Severe Flooding

Turn around, so you do not drown! You may think it’s a good idea to try and get through the flooded roads. Unfortunately, you don’t know just how deep the water is. Prevent drowning and getting stuck in floodwaters by avoiding them as much as possible. If your city has a flood warning, stay inside and prepare to go to the highest floor of your home if floodwaters make it inside. 

If your home floods, have a professional come out and look at estimated repairs and upgrades. Remember, never attempt to repair electrical wires as a DIY project. 

Heat Safety 101

Who does not enjoy the sun? There are many advantages of being outdoors when the sun is shining. However, being in the sun for too long can cause heatstroke and other life-threatening conditions. Be prepared.

  • If you plan on spending a day at the beach or by the backyard pool, make sure that you are staying hydrated.
  • Limit your alcohol intake while out in the sun.
  • Wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing if you expect to be in the sun for prolonged periods.
  • Don’t forget to wear sunblock.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a parked vehicle. Be sure to always check your backseat before leaving your vehicle to ensure that nobody is left behind.

The National Weather Service recommends families:

  • To always stay informed of severe weather.
  • Prepare an emergency kit.

Don’t get caught off guard when severe weather hits. Find out up to date information on weather conditions through the following places:

Weather apps
Local radio stations 
News station
National Weather Service
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

If you are one of those people that like to be prepared for emergencies ahead of time, build an emergency kit that includes at least a 3-5 day supply of the following items:

  • First aid kit
  • 1 gallon of clean water per person
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Can opener
  • Two changes of clean clothing and shoes
  • A blanket
  • One Sleeping bag
  • Cash
  • Credit cards
  • Prescriptions
  • Non-prescription medications
  • Cell phone charger
  • Important documents placed in a ziplock bag
  • Map
  • Personal wipes
  • Toiletries
  • Baby items

You can also put together a smaller emergency kit to make sure that your family is prepared. The kit should include the following essential items:

  • First aid kit
  • Important documents placed in a ziplock
  • Battery operated Weather Radio with extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Blankets
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver

What you Should do After a Storm

Once severe weather has passed your area, there are a few extra steps that you can take to make sure your family maintains safety. For example, do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are sure that the water is safe. Also, let your friends and family know that you are safe as soon as possible. Avoid stepping into an area where water has covered electrical outlets and do not touch plugged-in electrical appliances while wet or standing in water.  If you want more information on severe weather preparedness, you can find detailed lists and tips from ready.gov. 

Power Outages and Gas Leaks

With severe weather comes the risk of power outages and gas leaks and you must know whom to call. If you smell gas in or around your home, or have a gas emergency, remember to always call 911 first. Be prepared by familiarizing yourself with your local utility company. When there is a power outage in your neighborhood, they are the ones that you will call. You can easily find the local utility company’s contact information on your electricity bill. Be sure to keep it in an accessible place in the event of an emergency. 

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