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How to Prepare for a Flood Watch and Tornado Watch: Tips from the Guilford Fire Department

The Guilford Fire Department is committed to ensuring the safety of its residents and believes in proactive measures to minimize the impact of such disasters. In this article, we will provide valuable tips on how to prepare for a flood watch and tornado watch, offering insights from the Guilford Fire Department to help you safeguard your life and property.

Preparing for a Flood Watch:

1. Stay Informed: Keep a close eye on local weather forecasts, particularly during periods of heavy rainfall. Sign up for emergency alerts and notifications to stay informed about any flood watches or warnings issued by local authorities.

2. Develop an Emergency Plan: Create a comprehensive emergency plan for your household. Designate a safe meeting place and establish communication protocols, ensuring that everyone is aware of evacuation routes and emergency contact information.

3. Emergency Supplies: Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential items such as non-perishable food, drinking water, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, necessary medications, and a battery-powered radio. Keep these supplies easily accessible in case of an evacuation.

4. Safeguard Important Documents: Secure vital documents, such as identification papers, insurance policies, medical records, and property deeds, in a waterproof and portable container. Consider storing electronic copies in cloud storage or on a secure digital platform.

5. Protect Your Property: If you have time before a flood, take preventive measures like sandbagging or using flood barriers to redirect water away from your home. Clear gutters and drains of debris to ensure proper water flow. Move valuable items to higher ground or an elevated area.

Preparing for a Tornado Watch:

1. Understand the Terminology: Familiarize yourself with the terminology used during tornado watches and warnings. A watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form, while a warning indicates that a tornado has been sighted or detected by radar in your area.

2. Identify Safe Locations: Identify the safest locations within your home or workplace to seek shelter during a tornado. Basements, storm cellars, and small interior rooms on the lowest level, away from windows, offer the best protection. Practice tornado drills regularly to ensure everyone knows where to go.

3. Secure Outdoor Items: Store or secure outdoor furniture, equipment, and loose objects that could become projectiles during strong winds. Trim trees and remove dead branches that could potentially damage your property during a tornado.

4. Have Emergency Supplies Ready: Prepare an emergency kit with essential items such as water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, a flashlight, batteries, a portable radio, and any necessary medications. Include items like sturdy shoes, helmets, and blankets for added protection.

5. Stay Informed and Alert: Monitor weather updates from reputable sources, such as the National Weather Service or local news channels. Have a battery-powered weather radio or smartphone app with alerts enabled to receive timely notifications about tornado watches or warnings.

Being prepared for flood watches and tornado watches is crucial to ensure the safety of your loved ones and protect your property. The Guilford Fire Department emphasizes the importance of staying informed, developing an emergency plan, assembling emergency supplies, and knowing safe locations for shelter during these natural disasters. By following these tips and working together as a community, we can effectively mitigate the risks associated with floods and tornadoes and respond appropriately when they occur.


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