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Storm Safety Tips
Storm Safety: Driving in Storms Can be Dangerous
In Dust:

  • Don’t enter a dust storm if you can avoid it.
  • Turn headlights on and drive a slow and prudent speed.
  • If you pull off the road, get as far to the right as possible. Turn off the car and headlights, and set the parking brake. Keep your foot off the brake pedal – other drivers may think you’re a car is moving.
In Rain:

  • Rain reduces traction and causes streets to be slippery.  Slow your speed accordingly.
  • Water on roads may be deeper than it looks. Watch for vehicles travelling too fast. They can throw up blinding sheets of water.
  • Don’t cross rain-swollen washes. You can be caught in a flash flood that can sweep you and your vehicle away.
  • Pay attention to hazard signs and roadblocks. Ignoring them threatens life and property, and can result in enforcement action by police.
Stuck in a wash: 


It is possible to lose control of a vehicle in 6 inches of water. Most vehicles will begin to float in 2 feet of water.

  • If you have a phone, call 911.
  • If you can, climb onto the roof and wait to be rescued.
  • If the water is still low and you can wade to safety, do so, but beware of floating debris

Storm Safety: In Your Home Safety
  • Stay away from windows during strong winds. Tree limbs and other objects can be a hazard.
  • Electrical wiring attracts lightning. Don’t use the telephone, except for emergencies.
  • Lighting can move through a home’s plumbing, attracted to the metal or water. Don’t use using sinks and showers.
  • Unplug computers, tv’s and other delicate electronic equipment. Consider attaching surge protectors to such equipment.

  • Storm Safety Tip: Downed Power Lines

    Accidents, tree limbs and damaging storms sometimes knock down power lines. When a person or piece of equipment contacts a wire or you see a downed line:

    • Assume the power line is energized and dangerous.  Even lines that are de-energized may become energized at any time. 
    • Keep people and pets away from the area around the downed power lines or any equipment in contact with a wire. Tree limbs, objects, the ground and even people can carry a current that can cause serious or fatal injuries.
    • Never use an object to move a downed power line.
    • If someone makes contact with a downed power line, don't try to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself.   Call 9-1-1 immediately!

    Storm Safety: Lightning Storms
    Lightning is attracted to metal and water, and often strike the tallest objects.

    YOU ARE IN A STRIKE ZONE IF YOU HEAR THUNDER FIVE SECONDS OR LESS AFTER YOU SEE LIGHTNING!

    • Stay away from wide, open areas such as fields and golf courses.
    • Stay off hilltops and other high points of land.
    • Don’t stand near trees or tall poles
    • Get at least 7 feet away from tall objects
    • Avoid metal objects such as golf carts and clubs, lawn mowers and pipes.
    • Get to the lowest point of ground you can, and kneel or squat to minimize your contact points with the ground.
    • Do not lie flat. This will make you a bigger target.
    • Don’t huddle with others. Spread out at least 15 feet apart.
    • Remove steel-toed boots.
    • If you’re out on the water, get to land.
    • If you’re in a pool, get out.

    Storm Safety: Swift Water Hazards


    In periods with high temperatures and occasional thunderstorms, creeks, streams and rivers can become a deadly hazard. During this time of the year there could be nuisance flooding along these water bodies. Each year between 200 and 500 people are killed in the United States by floods or other swift water accidents.

     

    Those without proper equipment and training should not voluntarily enter a creek, stream or river during high flow times. It is essential that all boaters where life jackets that are Coast Guard approved. Most people do not understand the power of moving water. Although water may appear to be moving slowly, it moves deceptively fast and can exert great amounts of pressure. Even automobiles can be swept away by swift water. When approaching a flooded roadway, do not attempt to drive through the area.

     

    Spillways or small "dams" might appear as water slides to many children and unknowing adults. Boaters or rafters may be upset or toppled. Tubers and swimmers may get caught in the turbulent water which refuses to release its victims. Extreme caution should be exercised while near these bodies of swift water. Rocks and soil near the banks can become slippery or unstable.

     

    If anyone falls into swift water, call 9-1-1 immediately and try to maintain eye contact with the victim.


    Storm Safety: During a Thunderstorm
    If outside get into a building, car or bus.  If in an open area, head for low ground or crouch down.  If in a forest or wooded area, pick a low area under thick, small trees.

    If swimming or boating, get out of the water and find shelter immediately.

    Storm Safety: During a Tornado
    Go to the lowest level of the building and stay in the center.   Get under sturdy furniture or stairs.

    Don't stay in a mobile or manufactured home!

    If you're away from home, take shelter in a steel-framed or reinforced concrete building.  Avoid buildings with wide span roofs.

    Storm Safety: During a Hurricane

    To help you and your family to get ready for a Hurricane; please follow these safety tips to keep you, your family and your home safe.

    Before the storm:

    • Prepare emergency supply kit.
    • Create and / or review home safety plan with family members.
    • A supply of water (one gallon per person per day). Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers.
    • A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.  Do not forget about food for your pets.
    • A change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes. Blankets or sleeping bags.
    • A first aid kit and prescription medications.
    • An extra pair of glasses.
    • Credit cards and cash.
    • An extra set of car keys.
    • A list of family physicians.
    • Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy.
    • Prepare your home for high winds and rain.
    • Clean storm gutters and drains around your home.
    • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
    • Review home safety plan with family members.

     During the storm:

    • Remain Calm at all times.
    • Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
    • Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
    • Stay away from swift moving water on roadways, streams, creeks and rivers.
    • Listen to a news reports via radio or television.  Have a battery-operated radio as a back-up.
    • Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
    • If your power goes out and you are using a portable generator; ONLY operate gas fuel generators outside of the building due to carbon monoxide hazard.
    • Stay away from down power lines.

    If you have an emergency situation that is life threatening, call 9-1-1 immediately.

    For more information visit the Township Website at www.umtownship.org or FEMA's website at http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/hurricanes.shtm.


    Storm Safety: During a Winter Storm
    Dress in lightweight, layered clothing, rather than 1 layer of heavy clothing.  Add or remove layers to avoid getting chilled or overheated.

    When outside beware of ice, fallen trees and downed power wires.  Avoid strenuous activity.  Avoid driving if possible but have an emergency kit with blankets in your car if you must go out.

    When inside never use unvented fuel burning devices like grills or generators.  These devices produce carbon monoxide which is a deadly colorless, odorless gas that can build up quickly inside.

    Power Outage – How do I prepare for a power outage?

    Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last long time. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, you need not be concerned about losing your perishable foods. For prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible.

    To help preserve your food, keep the following supplies in your home:

    • One or more coolers—Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers work well.

    • Ice surrounding your food with ice in a cooler or in the refrigerator will keep food colder for a longer period of time during a prolonged power outage.

    • A digital quick-response thermometer; with these thermometers you can quickly check the internal temperatures of food to ensure they are cold enough to use safely.

    Put together an emergency preparedness kit with these supplies in case of a prolonged or widespread power outage:

    • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3- day supply for evacuation, 2-week  supply for home) • Food—non-perishable, easy-to prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home) • Flashlight (NOTE: Do not use candles during a power outage due to the extreme risk of fire.) • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) • Extra batteries • First aid kit • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items • Multi-purpose tool • Sanitation and personal hygiene items • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies) • Cell phone with chargers • Family and emergency contact information • Extra cash

    • If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment, remember to include backup power in your evacuation plan.

    • Keep a non-cordless telephone in your home. It is likely to work even when the power is out.

    • Keep your car’s gas tank full.

    Power Outage – What should I do during a power outage?

    Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last long time. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, you need not be concerned about losing your perishable foods. For prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible.

    Keep food as safe as possible.

    • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours.

    • Then use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

    • Use your non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.

    • If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.

    • Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.

    Electrical equipment

    • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.

    • Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out.  When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.

    • Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.

    • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.

    Using generators safely

    • When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a home’s electrical system.

    • If you are considering getting a generator, get advice from a professional, such as an electrician. Make sure that the generator you purchase is rated for the power that you think you will need.


    Power Outage – What should I do when the power comes back on?

    Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last long time. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, you need not be concerned about losing your perishable foods. For prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible.

    Do not touch any electrical power lines and keep your family away from them.  Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials in your area.

    Throw out unsafe food.

    • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!

    • Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.

    • If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.

    • If you are not sure food is cold enough, take its temperature with the food thermometer.  Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch.

    Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills

    • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

    • The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.

    • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.

    • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.

    • Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.