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Severe Weather Safety Tips

Everyone knows the saying “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,” but now that April is approaching, “April showers bring May flowers.” April is historically known to be a rainy month as spring sets in and the weather patterns change. Here are some severe weather tips to keep you safe as Mississippi faces another strong pattern of weather on Wednesday.

A good rule of thumb to have is to make sure your cell phone is fully charged and your emergency weather alerts are turned on. Tornadoes are the most dangerous at night due to limited visibility. Know the difference between a watch and a warning: a watch means that bad weather is possible and to be prepared. A warning means a tornado is happening and to take shelter immediately.

For tornado safety: If you are outside, get inside. If you’re already inside, get as far into the middle of the building as possible. Get underground if possible. If you cannot, go to the lowest floor available. Cover up. Flying and falling debris are a storm’s number one killer. Use pillows, blankets, coats, helmets, etc. to cover up and protect your head and body from flying debris. Again, the key to tornado survival is a safety plan. Children who may be at home alone should know what to do and where to go even if no adults are there. Get as low as possible. Completely underground is best. Put as many barriers between you and the outside as possible.

It is not the wind inside and around a tornado that kills and injures people. It’s the flying debris that is in the wind. Items can fly in the air and fall down (items can range from small objects to objects the size and weight of cars) In homes or small buildings go to the basement or a small interior room and cover your head. Stay away from windows. If in mobile homes or vehicles, do not try to outrun the tornado in your car. Get to the nearest shelter. If a shelter is not available, as a last resort either stay in the vehicle with your seat belt on, put your head down below the windows and cover it with your hands, or lie flat in a ditch and cover your head with your hands.

For lightning safety: If you are indoors, stay away from windows and doors. Turn off the TV and computer and stay away from sinks and tubs. Use phones or cell phones for emergencies only. Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls. If you are outdoors and can hear thunder, lightning can strike. Stay away from anything metal. Stay away from pools and lakes. Avoid open spaces, but never stand under a tree. Get to a home or large building.

For flash flood safety: Move to higher ground and stay away from storm drains, ditches, and streams. Stay away from flooded areas. Never walk or swim in flood waters. Remind parents and adults that driving into water of unknown depths or around barricades is dangerous, especially at night.


Written by Kathryn Winter


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