“March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.”
However, before we can get to the flowers, we need to get through the wind and the showers! Spring is in the air, but so are storm clouds, high winds, and tornadoes. So, to make sure that you and yours are safe this weather season we have listed some safety tips to get you to the May flowers despite the March winds and April showers.
Most people will tell you that during a tornado, you are safest in an underground shelter or a reinforced room with no windows. But what do you do in the event that you don’t have either of those options? You can:
In homes or smaller buildings, find the northeast corner of a basement. Or if that is not an option, go to the smallest, most-interior room on the lowest floor, such as a closet or bathroom. Cover yourself to protect your body from flying objects.
- In schools, hospitals, factories or shopping centers, go to the smallest, most-interior room or hallway on the lowest floor. Stay away from glass or areas with wide roofs such as auditoriums and warehouses. Crouch down and cover your head.
- In high-rise buildings, go to the smallest, most-interior room or hallway. Stay away from exterior walls and windows.
- If you are in a car or mobile home… abandon them immediately! Cars and mobile homes provide no protection from tornado winds. Leave them and go to a substantial structure or designated tornado shelter.
- It used to be that if you were caught out in the open, you were to find an overpass or bridge, but now it is said not to do that. They provide little shelter and have proved to be some pretty deadly options.
- If caught in the open, lie flat in a culvert, ditch or depression and cover your head.
So, you’re safe in your own home watching the lightning show safely from your living room, hmm? Well, please keep in mind that at any given time, there are over 2,000 thunderstorms on the planet that produce 44 flashes of lightning. This means that if you see a thunderstorm, it behooves you to take cover. During a thunder storm, here are a few tips to remember:
- If you feel your hair standing on end, squat with your head between your knees. Do not lie flat!
- Avoid using the telephone or other electrical appliances. Let’s say you do bite the bullet, wave off the impending storm, and get on your PC anyway. You open yourself up to a lot of problems like power surges, and possibly being electrocuted. We can’t tell you not to do it, but we strongly suggest that if you have to get on to an electronic device, please use your cell phone, tablet, or lap top; that way, you can unplug the device away from the wall and continue to use it.
- Do not take a bath or shower or stand near plumbing. If you are boating or swimming, get out of the water and move to a safe shelter on land as quickly as possible. This sounds pretty self-explanatory, but there are a large number of people who will hop in the shower to get squeaky clean or decide to take their loved ones out for a swim when a storm hits. This is definitely not the smartest or safest choice as water attracts and is a conduit for electricity. Please be careful.
- Seek shelter in a sturdy building. A hard-top automobile can also offer protection. If you are in a wooded area, seek shelter under a thick growth of relatively small trees. However, avoid isolated trees or other tall objects, water, fences, convertible cars, tractors and motorcycles.
They can occur anywhere, along rivers or creeks, in low water crossings or in a dry stream bed. They can occur during any month and at any time during the day. In fact, flash floods often occur at night when it is difficult to find an escape route. Flash floods can be deceptive, and they develop really fast. Flood waters are likely deeper and moving faster than you think. Everyone, especially children, should stay away from flooded creeks, streams or drainage ditches. Swiftly flowing water can quickly sweep away even the strongest swimmers. You should also know to:
- Leave your vehicle immediately if it stalls in flood waters. Move to higher ground if you can do so safely. Avoid low water crossings and use alternate routes to avoid flood prone areas.
- Most cars and light trucks will begin to float in as little as 12 inches of water. Act quickly; rising waters can make vehicle doors difficult to open.
- Soggy banks can collapse, dumping you into flood waters. So make sure to stay on firm land and embankments.
There is a lot that goes into protecting yourself from a hurricane. There are many things to do in order to prepare, during and after. It has been advised that we give you the link to a hurricane safety site as opposed to listing to do’s here: http://hurricanesafety.org/