Severe Weather Preparedness
Severe weather can include hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, including damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail, flooding and flash flooding, and winter storms associated with freezing rain, sleet, snow and strong winds.
Don't Get Caught Off Guard by Severe Weather
- Trim damaged trees and limbs.
- Inspect and secure gutters, windows, and roofing.
- Build a disaster supply kit.
- Create an emergency plan.
- Know the signs and terminology of Severe Weather threats.
- Stay away from windows, doors, and avoid taking shelter in cars or mobile homes.
- Stay informed about the current conditions.
- Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
- Move from outdoors into a building or car with a roof.
- Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
- Avoid using electronic devices connected to an electrical outlet.
- Avoid running water.
- Do not drive through flooded roadways. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Pay attention to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding.
- Watch for fallen power lines and trees. Report them immediately.
- Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar like a freight train.
- Immediately go to a safe location that you have identified.
- Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
- Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you.
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle if you are in a car. If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.
Flooding is an overflow of water that can range from a few inches deep to fully submerging entire buildings. Flooding can occur when rivers and lakes cannot contain excessive rain or snow melt, or when rain cannot be absorbed fully into the ground. Flooding can also occur when waterways overflow due to debris or ice, when winds from tropical storms or hurricanes cause storm surge in coastal areas, or when water containment systems (such as levees, dams, pipes) break.
It is important to understand the difference between watch and warning so you know what to do to stay safe.
Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch - Flooding or flash flooding in your area is possible.
Flood Warning - Flooding is occurring or about to occur. Avoid low lying areas and if necessary, evacuate.
Flash Flood Warning - A flash flood is occurring or about to occur. Seek higher ground immediately.