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Severe Storm Safety Tips

We are expecting a severe storm to roll into the area Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday morning. Heavy rain and sustained high winds may topple trees, bring down power lines, and could cause multi-day power outages heading into the holiday weekend. Please be aware of the following important safety tips: Call for help. Report downed lines to your local utility emergency center and to the police. Do not try to free lines or to remove debris yourself.

Avoid anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches. Puddles and even wet or snow-covered ground can conduct electricity in some cases. Warn others to stay away. If you see someone who has been shocked who may be in direct or indirect contact with a power line, do not try to touch them. You may become a second victim. Get medical attention as quickly as possible by calling 911. If a line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle. Take care not to touch any of the metal frame of your vehicle. Honk your horn, roll down the window and warn anyone who may approach of the danger. Ask someone to call the police. Do not exit the car until help arrives, unless it catches on fire. To exit, open the door, but do not step out. Jump, without touching any of the metal portions of the car's exterior, to safe ground and get quickly away.

If you are driving:

Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down. When driving Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path. Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes as strong gusts could push a car outside its lane of travel. Take extra care in a high-profile vehicle such as a truck, van, SUV, or when towing a trailer, as these are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts. If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, get onto the shoulder of the road and stop, making sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle. Stay in the car and turn on the hazard lights until the wind subsides.

What to do During a Flood Warning or Flash Flood Warning

Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Continue to check the media for emergency information. Follow instructions from public safety officials. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. If you must evacuate your home, take only essential items and bring your pets if safe to do so. If you must evacuate or are traveling during flooding, remember: Do not walk through flowing water. Most drownings occur during flash floods. Six inches of swiftly moving water can knock you off of your feet. Remember the phrase “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” Don’t drive through flooded roads. Cars can be swept away in only two feet of moving water. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof. Do not drive around road barriers. Roads and bridges may be washed out or structurally unsound. If told to shelter in place, listen to local television or radio for updates. Conditions may change quickly, so be prepared to evacuate to a shelter or a neighbor’s home if necessary.


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