Red Cross Urges Preparedness and Shares Safety Tips for Expected Severe Weather

By Trish Svoboda

Another bout of severe weather is set to hit today, putting some areas at risk of tornadoes, and potentially bringing with it large hail, and strong winds.

The Red Cross urges everyone to be prepared and offered tips on safety planning.

The first is to identify locations that can provide shelter from strong winds in the areas where you frequently spend time, such as your workplace, school, or home. Look for a room built to withstand intense winds, or a small room without windows on the ground level. Mobile homes, manufactured homes, trailers, and RVs do not offer sufficient safety during high winds, so it is recommended to locate a sturdy building before a tornado watch or warning is issued. If you live in an apartment, consider seeking shelter in a central corridor of your building, or any readily available shared spaces, like a community building.

Practice tornado drills regularly. With all members of your household, practice moving to the secure locations you’ve pinpointed. Don’t forget to include individuals with special needs and pets.

If you are on the road when severe weather hits, slow down and carefully move to the side of the road. Activate your vehicle’s hazard lights to enhance visibility. Refrain from driving through standing water. Navigating through standing water, particularly when it’s deep, could lead to a loss of control over your vehicle.

In the event of a tornado while you’re driving, if it is far enough away, steer your vehicle at a right angle away from the tornado’s path. If the tornado is nearby, leave your vehicle and find refuge in a nearby structure. If no such structures are within reach, seek protection in a ditch, away from your vehicle.

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