September is Emergency Preparedness Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) set September as Emergency Preparedness Month. With the next few months wrapping up the warm weather, we all need to be aware of severe and unpredictable weather.  The NSC says that over 600 people perished in severe weather incidents in 2012. These weather events are hard to predict and harder to give proper warnings to the public.

Here are some tips for staying safe in severe weather include:  
  •  Thunderstorms and lightning
    • avoid contact with electrical equipment, cords, metal and water.
    • Take shelter in a sturdy building.
    • Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures, open areas, hilltops, the beach, & boats.
    • Stay away from tall items like trees, water/communication towers, & power lines.
  • Heavy rain
    • Safely exit the roadway and park.
    • Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers.
    • Do not drive into flooded areas.
    • Move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
  • Tornado
    • Seek shelter in a place away from windows such as a basement, center hallway, bathroom or closet.
    • Get under something sturdy such as a heavy table, and cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress.
    • If driving, stop & exit your vehicle. Lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine or culvert, and shield your head with your hands.
  • Snow/Ice
    • Pre plan for a stock of food and water
    • Keep a blanket in your vehicle
    • Avoid driving if conditions are hazardous
NSC advises families to keep an emergency kit at home and in the car. Kits should contain basic needs to sustain a family for at least 72 hours. When putting together an emergency plan, families should practice various methods of evacuation or identify places to seek shelter, make emergency contact lists in case family members become separated and learn how their community alerts residents when severe weather or a natural disaster are imminent. Sample emergency kits and plans can be found online at:

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