Severe Weather Awareness Week: Safety rules

5:42 PM, Mar 6, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND - This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week across Ohio.

WKYC Severe Weather Guide (pdf): http://on.wkyc.com/WKYCSevereWeatherGuide

Each day this week, the National Weather Service will bring you information about severe weather in Ohio and what you can do before, during and after a storm.

Our topic for today...severe weather safety rules.

SEVERE WEATHER OFTEN DEVELOPS QUICKLY...SO IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU
KNOW SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY RULES BEFORE THE STORM HITS. MANY TIMES ONLY
MINUTES ARE AVAILABLE TO REACT WHEN A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM OR
TORNADO THREATENS. LOST SECONDS CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND
DEATH.

IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTDOORS, YOU SHOULD SEEK SHELTER IN A BASEMENT,
SHELTER OR STURDY BUILDING. IF YOU CANNOT QUICKLY WALK TO A SHELTER:
- IMMEDIATELY GET INTO A VEHICLE, BUCKLE YOUR SEAT BELT AND TRY TO
DRIVE TO THE CLOSEST STURDY SHELTER.
- IF FLYING DEBRIS OCCURS WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING, PULL OVER AND PARK.
NOW YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS AS A LAST RESORT:
- STAY IN THE CAR WITH THE SEAT BELT ON. PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN BELOW THE
WINDOWS, COVERING WITH YOUR HANDS AND A BLANKET IF POSSIBLE.
- IF YOU CAN SAFELY GET NOTICEABLY LOWER THAN THE LEVEL OF THE
ROADWAY, EXIT YOUR CAR AND LIE IN THAT AREA, COVERING YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR
HANDS. YOUR CHOICE SHOULD BE DRIVEN BY YOUR SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES.

IF YOU ARE IN A SCHOOL...YOUR TEACHER WILL DIRECT YOU TO THE SCHOOL/S
TORNADO SHELTER. KNEEL ON THE FLOOR FACING THE WALL WITH YOUR
HANDS COVERING YOUR NECK AND HEAD. AVOID AUDITORIUMS AND GYMNASIUMS.

IN A MALL OR LARGE BUILDINGS...GO TO THE MIDDLE OF THE HALL ON THE
LOWEST LEVEL AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF YOU LIVE IN A MOBILE HOME...GET OUT AND FIND A STURDY BUILDING AND
GO TO THE BASEMENT OR LOWEST LEVEL.

IN HOMES OR SMALL BUILDINGS...A BASEMENT IS THE SAFEST
PLACE...ESPECIALLY IF YOU CAN GET UNDER A STURDY PIECE OF FURNITURE.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A BASEMENT...SEEK SHELTER IN A WINDOWLESS
CLOSET...BATHROOM OR INSIDE HALL. TRY TO GET UNDER SOMETHING STURDY
AND PROTECT YOUR HEAD.

LIGHTNING IS A VERY DANGEROUS COMPONENT OF ALL THUNDERSTORMS.
MOST LIGHTNING DEATHS AND INJURIES OCCUR WHEN PEOPLE ARE CAUGHT
OUTDOORS EITHER IN OR NEAR A THUNDERSTORM.

IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE RAINING IN ORDER TO BE IN DANGER FROM
LIGHTNING.A GOOD RULE OF THUMB IS...THAT IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...
THEN YOU BETTER SEEK SHELTER. LIGHTNING CAN OCCUR UP TO 10 MILES AWAY
FROM RAIN. LIGHTNING IS MOST LIKELY TO STRIKE INDIVIDUALS IN OPEN AREAS
LIKE GOLF COURSES...LAKES...BALL FIELDS AND FARM FIELDS. ALSO...TALL
TREES HAVE A HIGHER PROBABILITY OF BEING STRUCK.

THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM LIGHTNING IS TO
GO INDOORS WELL BEFORE A THUNDERSTORM STRIKES. IF THERE ARE NO
BUILDINGS AVAILABLE...GET IN AN AUTOMOBILE WITH A METAL ROOF. IF YOU
DO NOT TOUCH METAL...ANY LIGHTNING STRIKE WILL THEN BE DIRECTED INTO
THE GROUND.

IF TRAPPED OUTDOORS...SEEK SHELTER IN A LOW AREA. IF IN A FOREST...STAY
AWAY FROM THE TALLEST TREES AND SEEK SHELTER IN A CLUMP OF LOWER
TREES OR BRUSH. IF YOU FEEL YOUR HAIR STANDING ON END...YOU ARE ABOUT
TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CROUCH DOWN ON YOUR
KNEES WITH YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD. (TRY TO MAKE YOURSELF AS SMALL
AS A TARGET AS POSSIBLE) DO NOT LIE DOWN.

WHILE INDOORS DURING AN ELECTRICAL STORM...STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS
AND DO NOT USE HARD WIRED TELEPHONES.

WKYC-TV/NWS

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