Severe Weather Safety
With the severe weather we’ve been having in Eastern Pennsylvania, as well as in other parts of the country, it’s important to keep safety in mind and be prepared for an emergency. Here is some information about severe weather and tips on how to keep you and your family safe.
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. They can reach enough intensity to destroy structures, uproot trees and hurl large objects through the air. The signs of a tornado include: dark/ greenish clouds, a cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud, a roaring noise and high winds. Flood and property damage can occur due to a tornado.
If there is a tornado warning in your area:
– Stay in a basement, storm cellar, or interior room (bathroom, closet, hallway)
– Move or secure anything that might become airborne- lawn furniture, trash cans, diseased or damaged limbs from trees, etc.
– Mobile homes are not safe during a tornado- find a sturdy shelter.
– If a tornado occurs while you are driving you should quickly find a sturdy shelter, basement, etc. If this is not possible, pull over and stay in the car with your seat belt on, your head below the windows and cover yourself with a blanket if available. If you can safely get lower that the level of the road, exit the car and lie in that area covering your head.
– Listen to local news or radio for updates.
Another form of severe weather common to Eastern Pennsylvania is a thunderstorm. A thunderstorm can produce hail and high winds. Every thunderstorm produces lightening which kills more people each year than tornados or hurricanes. As with tornados, the heavy rain that come with a thunder storm can cause flood damage and the high winds can blow down trees and utility poles causing power outages and property damage. Signs of a thunderstorm include darkening skies, lightening flashes and increasing wind.
If there is a severe thunderstorm warning in your area:
– Postpone outdoor activities- many people who are struck by lightening are not in areas where it is raining.
– Take shelter- mobile home are not safe, they can be blown over by high winds.
– If you can hear thunder you are close enough to the storm to be in danger of lightening- take shelter.
– Avoid electrical equipment
– Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.
– If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall trees and metal objects.
Sources: American Red Cross