Red Cross issues safety steps

  • Friday, May 2, 2014

The American Red Cross has safety steps people can follow and urges everyone in the path of severe storms to get prepared well ahead of time.

Tornado safety

People should know how their community will warn them about the storm. Other steps include the following:

Download the Red Cross tornado app onto mobile devices. People can use the app’s “I’m Safe” button to let loved ones know they are okay and find the location of Red Cross shelters.

The app also includes a siren and warning alert that signals when a tornado warning has been issued, as well as an all-clear alert that lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or been cancelled.

Pick a place where family members can gather – the basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

Watch for tornado danger signs – dark, greenish clouds, a cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud or roaring noise.

Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or severe winds. If there is access to a sturdy shelter or vehicle, abandon the mobile home immediately and go to that facility. Do not wait until the tornado is in view.

If someone is caught outdoors, they should seek shelter in a basement or sturdy building. If they can’t do that, they should get into a vehicle, buckle their seat belt and drive to the closest sturdy shelter.

If flying debris occurs, they should pull over and park, stay in the vehicle with their head down below the windows, covering their head.

Once you are certain your household is safe, check in on neighbors, friends and family to ensure they are safe and have everything they need. It is particularly helpful to check in on those who are elderly and/or have functional or access needs to ensure they are safe and well.

Stay informed about the moving weather system and share information and preparedness tips with those that live nearby.

Flooding safety

If flooding is possible, people should be prepared to evacuate if ordered. Other flooding safety steps are:

Pack a disaster kit including a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food for each person in the household and items such as a flashlight and batteries, a first aid kit, medications, sanitation and personal hygiene items, cell phones and chargers, extra cash and copies of important papers.

If a flood or flash flood warning is issued for someone’s area, they should head for higher ground and stay there.

Stay away from floodwaters whether walking or driving

Keep children out of the water.

Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

Share preparedness information with neighbors, friends and family to help them stay safe.

Once you are certain your household is safe, check in on neighbors, friends and family to ensure they are safe and have everything they need. It is particularly helpful to check in on those who are elderly and/or have functional or access needs to ensure they are safe and well.

More safety information can be found at www.redcross.org.

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