Severe weather tips

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EMA director urges families to review before peak of severe weather

By The Staff

Harrison County Emergency Management along with Kentucky Division of Emergency Management and the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee urge you and your family to review these safety tips as we enter the peak severe weather season in Kentucky.

Flash flooding safety rules:       

According to statistics from the National Weather Service; flash floods and floods are the most recent year’s number one storm-related killer in Kentucky and across the United States.

•If driving, do not drive through flooded areas, even if it looks shallow enough to cross. The majority of deaths caused by flooding are due to people driving through flooded areas. Water only one foot deep can displace 1,500 pounds. Two feet of water can easily carry most vehicles. Roadways concealed by floodwaters may not be intact.

•If caught outside, immediately go to higher ground. Avoid small rivers or streams, low spots, culverts or ravines. Do not try to walk through flowing water more than ankle deep, as it only takes six inches of water to knock you off your feet. Do not allow children to play around       streams, drainage ditches or viaducts, storm drains or other flooded areas.

•If ordered to evacuate or if rising water is threatening, leave immediately and get to higher ground.

Lightning safety rules:    

Lightning is the number two storm-related killer. In Kentucky, more people are killed by lightning in an average year than tornadoes. Although severe thunderstorm warnings are not issued for lightning, you should move to shelter when thunder is heard as lightning can strike 10 to 15 miles away from where the rain is falling.

•If outside, immediately go to a safe shelter, such as inside a sturdy building. A hardtop automobile with the windows up can also offer fair protection.

•If you are boating or swimming, immediately get out of the water and move to a safe shelter away from the water.

•If you are in a wooded area, seek shelter under a thick growth of relatively small trees.

•If you feel your hair standing on end, squat with your head between your knees. Do not lie flat.

•Avoid isolated trees or other tall objects, bodies of water, sheds, fences, convertible automobiles, tractors and motorcycles.

•If inside, avoid using the telephone (except for emergencies) or other electrical appliances.

•Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.

Tornado/severe thunderstorm safety rules:       

•In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.

•If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of           furniture. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outdoors.

•Stay away from windows.

•Get out of automobiles.

•Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately for safe shelter. Do not seek shelter in an underpass.

•If caught outside or in a vehicle, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.

•Be aware of flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes and high winds causes most fatalities and injuries.

•Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes or high winds. You should leave a mobile home and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy building or storm shelter.

For more information, contact Harrison County Emergency Management at 234-7180 or online at www.harrisonema.com.