Severe weather awareness week continues today in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut as the National Weather Service urges all residents to be weather ready by protecting themselves from the hazards of flooding, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms. Today’s topic will review severe weather preparedness and safety.
There are many steps you can take before, during, and after a storm to help keep you safe during the summer season. Before a storm, it is important to develop a plan no matter where you are and identify a place to take shelter. Conduct frequent drills of your plan during a severe weather event and know where to receive the latest and updated weather information. It is not only important to know when a warning is issued, but what action you will take during that warning to remain safe.
When severe weather is occurring or immediately imminent, one should postpone any outdoor activities and move to a sturdy building or car. To avoid being struck by lightning, avoid tall objects such as towers, isolated trees, and telephone poles. If you are stuck outside during a thunderstorm, find a low spot that is not susceptible to flooding and take cover. Mariners and boaters who are out on the water should seek shelter on land immediately.
If a tornado warning is issued, move to an interior room or basement that is safe. Stay away from windows, get as low to the ground as possible, and cover your head. Be aware of flying debris during a tornado as it is often the leading cause of most injuries and fatalities. Those in mobile homes should evacuate and move to a designated place of safety as a mobile home offers little protection from a tornado and will likely be completely destroyed or thrown away.
Severe weather can often cause power outages and it is important to use flashlights, not flammable objects such as candles or lanterns. All broken or fallen power lines should be reported to authorities and not touched, drinking water should be boiled before use, and one should remain out of disaster areas to let emergency crews do their jobs.
There are many ways to receive watch and warning information from the National Weather Service, including the best way which is a NOAA weather radio. Every home in American should have a NOAA weather radio. Local television and radio media also broadcast severe weather alerts over their airwaves and computers or wireless devices can also receive warnings.
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