Home Safety Tips
1. Know the definitions of severe thunderstorm and tornado watches and warnings.
A tornado warning is issued when a tornado funnel is sighted or indicated by weather radar. You should take shelter immediately.
2. A few minutes of preparation now could mean a lot later.
3. If you have special needs:
4. Practice your emergency plan. Conduct drills and ask questions to make sure your family remembers information on tornado safety, particularly how to recognize hazardous weather conditions and how to take shelter.
5. Store important documents in a fire and water-proof safe. Things to include are:
6. Secure your home’s structure. No home is completely safe in a tornado. However, attention to construction details can reduce damage and provide better protection for you and your family if a tornado should strike your house. If an inspection using the "Home Inspection Checklist" reveals a possible hazard in the way your home is constructed, contact your local city or county building inspectors for more information about structural safety. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do any needed work for you.
7. Arrange and secure household items.
8. Keep a first-aid kit stocked with things like:
1. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be the "family contact" in case your family is separated during a flood. Make sure everyone in your family knows the name, address, and phone number of this contact person.
2. Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the flood strikes. Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials.
3. Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where it is and how to use it.
4. Have a licensed electrician raise electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12" above your home's projected flood elevation.
5. Learn about your community's emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.
6. For drains, toilets, and other sewer connections, install backflow valves or plugs to prevent floodwaters from entering.
7. Have your immunization records handy or be aware of your last tetanus shot, in case you should receive a puncture wound or a wound becomes contaminated during or after the flood.
8. Bring outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans inside or tie them down securely.
9. It’s always a good idea to have the following items on hand in case of emergency:
10. Gather the emergency supplies you previously stocked in your home and stay tuned to local radio or television station for updates.
11. Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if evacuation appears necessary.
12. Fill your vehicle’s gas tank and make sure the emergency kit for your car is ready.
13. Tune in the radio or television for weather updates.
14. Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature.
15. If you are ordered to evacuate, take only essential items with you. If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water. Disconnect appliances to prevent electrical shock when power is restored. Finally, remember, do not attempt to drive or walk across creeks or flooded roads.
1. Preparation is the key to surviving a winter storm. Develop a plan of action to get all family members home or to another place of safety before the storm arrives. Once a winter storm watch is issued, you should continue your preparations by making sure your car has a full tank of gas. Stock up on food, medication, and first aid supplies. Keep flashlights and a portable radio handy, along with extra batteries. Be prepared for the possibility of power outages, and stay informed on the latest weather developments by listening to NOAA weather radio or commercial news media.
2. Prepare now for possible winter emergencies. A severe winter storm can cut off your source of food, fuel, and electrical power. When the National Weather Service issues a winter storm watch or warning, be sure your food and fuel supplies are sufficient to last for the duration of the storm. Also stock up on needed medicines and batteries for flashlights and radios. Be extremely careful when using oil or kerosene stoves, grills, and fireplaces for emergency heating and cooking. These devices and the rooms they are used in must be well ventilated. Fumes and carbon monoxide from incomplete combustion can kill you. Take precautions to prevent fires. Many fires that occur in winter are caused by overheated heaters and furnaces. Have these appliances checked by a competent technician before the winter season starts. If a fire starts during a winter storm, the fire department might not be able to get to you.
Use the air conditioner and fans. Remember that fans don't do much in reducing the actual temperature, but do circulate the air and make the rooms they're in seem much cooler. Utilize dark curtains or blinds for windows, and don't open them during the heat of the day. Avoid heating appliances, like the oven, stove, dishwasher or clothes drier during the heat of the day. Check all window and door seals for gaps where heat may be entering the home. Use florescent lightbulbs, as they are often cooler than traditional incandescent bulbs.
WildfireDo not attempt to take shelter in your home if a fire is nearing. It is advised that you evacuate. Fire embers may fall several miles away from the main fire.