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Severe weather season is here



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April 11, 2018
Spring often brings volatile weather to the Tri-City area and beyond. For Severe Weather Week, April 8-14, The Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness offers the following tips for safety and preparedness:

•Be sure everyone in your household knows where to go and what to do in case of a tornado or thunderstorm warning.

•Know the safest location for shelter in your home, workplace and school. Load-bearing walls near the center of the basement or lowest level generally provide the greatest protection.

•Know the location of designated shelter areas in local public facilities, such as schools, shopping centers and other public buildings.

•Have emergency supplies on hand, including a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, flashlight, and a supply of fresh batteries, first-aid kit, water, and cell phone.

•Keep a three-day supply of food on hand. Keep some food in your supply kit that doesn't require refrigeration.

•Make an inventory of household furnishings and other possessions. Supplement it with photographs of each room and keep them in a safe place.

•Sign up to receive text or e-mail alerts from your local media, weather provider, or through an app.

In the event of a thunderstorm:

•Stay tuned to your weather radio or local news station for updates from the National Weather Service or go to www.weather.gov.

•Seek safe shelter when you first hear thunder, when you see dark threatening clouds developing overhead, or see lightning. Stay inside until 30 minutes after you last hear thunder or see lightning. Remember, lightning can strike more than ten miles away from any rainfall.

•When you hear thunder, run to the nearest large building or a fully enclosed vehicle. It is not safe anywhere outside.

•If you are boating or swimming, get to land and seek shelter immediately.

•Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Any item plugged into an electrical outlet may cause a hazard during a tornado or thunderstorm. Do not use corded (plug-in) telephones except in an emergency.

If a tornado warning is issued:

•Quickly move to shelter in the basement or lowest floor of a permanent structure.

•In homes and small buildings, go to the basement and get under something sturdy, like a workbench or stairwell. If a basement is not available, go to an interior part of the home on the lowest level. A good rule of thumb is to put as many walls between you and the tornado as possible.

•Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Broken glass and windblown projectiles cause more injuries and deaths than collapsed buildings. Protect your head with a pillow, blanket, or mattress.

•If you are caught outdoors, a sturdy shelter is the only safe location in a tornado.

•If you are boating or swimming, get to land and seek shelter immediately.

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