By the time severe weather hits, it’s too late to be prepared. It’s important to know the facts and have a plan in place for severe weather incidents. In Missouri, we get our fair share of weather related issues; snow, extreme heat, rain and flooding. With spring just around the corner (hopefully), let’s dive into some safety tips to be ready for severe weather. Severe Weather Preparedness Week is scheduled for March 3-9, 2019. We would like to provide you with information, tips, and tricks in an effort to prepare you and keep you safe!
Be Aware and Have a Plan:
Creating a severe weather emergency plan takes just a few minutes, but is valuable when disaster strikes. Visit https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan for more information and templates to organize all your information in one place.
Also be sure you know where to get severe weather alerts and updates. Check out these resources below and get alerts directly on your phone.
- Jefferson County 911 Dispatch- CodeRed https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/2EDF30D5E11B
- Missouri Storm Aware https://stormaware.mo.gov/alerts/
- Local news channel mobile apps (KSDK, KMOV, etc.)
First, let’s clear up a common question with tornadoes…what’s the difference between a watch and a warning? A tornado watch means be prepared because tornadoes are possible in the area. A tornado warning means take action because a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar.
- Be weather ready; know your plan and where your supplies are
- Get to a safe space in your home or organization away from windows and doors; preferably the basement, safe room, or interior room
- If you are outside, seek shelter inside a sturdy location immediately; sheds and storage facilities are not safe
- If you are in a car, do not get under an overpass or bridge; you are safer in low, flat location
After a tornado strikes, continue to follow the updates and safety information being released. If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or your hand to keep from inhaling dust. Use social media to contact friends and relatives to let them know you are safe because phone lines are often down or busy in the event of a storm.
Lightning may look cool in photos, but it’s no joke. If you hear thunder, be aware that lightning isn’t far off. Lightning frequently strikes just outside of areas with heavy rain. If you notice a storm brewing or see lightning follow these tips:
- Consider postponing outside activities if bad weather is predicted
- Get to a safe space indoors and wait out the storm
- Keep away from electrical equipment and plumbing in a storm
Thunderstorms can be dangerous because of high winds and hail. Be sure to follow alerts and pay attention to the weather. If bad weather strikes, find a safe place to wait out the storm and follow your family’s safety plan.
As we know all too well in Jefferson County, flooding is a problem especially when we aren’t prepared. Knowing the flood risk in your area, is key to preparing. Make sure you have a plan ready to go and communicated with friends and family. Also, be sure to have your Emergency Supply Kit fully stocked and easily accessible.
- Pay attention to weather warnings and road closures
- Know where you are going and make sure it is safe
- Grab your emergency supply kit; don’t forget about medications and pets!
- DO NOT walk, swim, or drive through flooded waters; turn around, don’t drown
- If you are trapped in a building, go to the highest level but do not close yourself off in an attic, get to the roof if necessary
No one wants a major storm to hit, but everyone wants to stay safe if one does strike. Be sure to follow these safety tips, make your emergency plan, and create an emergency supply kit. When bad weather hits, you’ll be ready!