With Spring comes Severe Weather
Severe thunderstorms are officially defined as storms that are capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger or wind gusts over 58 mph. Hail this size can damage property such as plants, roofs and vehicles. Wind this strong is able to break off large branches, knock over trees or cause structural damage to trees. Some severe thunderstorms can produce hail larger than softballs or winds over 100 mph, so please pay attention to the weather so you know when severe storms are possible. Thunderstorms also produce tornadoes and dangerous lightning; heavy rain can cause flash flooding.
Lightning: What You Need to Know
- NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!!
- If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
- When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
- Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.
Indoor Lightning Safety
- Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
- Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
- Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
- Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.
Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips
If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:
- Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
- Never lie flat on the ground
- Never shelter under an isolated tree
- Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
- Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
- Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)
The three sirens are sounded for three minutes straight in the event of a severe weather event. If you hear the sirens, sound for 30 seconds, it is calling fire fighters to the station.
In the event the siren last for 3 minutes, take shelter immediately. The sirens are activated from the fire station or by Linn County Emergency Management once a trained weather spotter identifies a possible tornado or high winds that can cause damage. You should proceed immediately to the lowest level of your home and seek shelter.
In the event you do not have a basement, take shelter in the inner most room of your home.
An all clear siren will sound for 1 minute once the sever weather event has passed.
Click on the Safety Tips link for more home fire safety tips.
Source: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/thunderstorm/ & http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/tips.shtml