|Severe Weather Nothing new to Boone County
Gale Blomenkamp, Battalion Chief/MPIO - Monday, April 20, 2015
With the spring weather season upon us here in Mid Missouri and the potential for severe weather, the Boone County Fire Protection District wants to offer these helpful safety tips to the citizens and visitors of Boone County.
Lightning causes around 100 deaths in the U.S. annually, which is more than hurricanes and tornadoes combined. Remember that lightning can strike up to several miles away from the actual thunderstorm.
• Avoid using the telephone (except for emergencies) or other electrical appliances.
• Do not take a bath or shower.
• IF CAUGHT OUTDOORS:
• Go to a safe shelter immediately! such as inside a sturdy building. A hard top automobile with the windows up can also offer fair protection.
• If you are boating or swimming, get out of the water immediately and move to a safe shelter away from the water!
• If you are in a wooded area, seek shelter under a thick growth of relatively small trees.
• If you feel your hair standing on end, squat with your head between your knees. Do not lie flat!
• Avoid: isolated trees or other tall objects, bodies of water, sheds, fences, convertible automobiles, tractors, and motorcycles.
Tornadoes are the most violent atmospheric phenomenon on the planet. Winds of 200-300 mph can occur with the most violent tornadoes. The following are instructions on what to do when a tornado warning has been issued for your area or whenever a tornado threatens:
• IN HOMES OR SMALL BUILDINGS:
• Go to the basement (if available) or to an interior room on the lowest floor, such as a closet or bathroom. Wrap yourself in overcoats or blankets to protect yourself from flying debris.
• IN SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, FACTORIES, OR SHOPPING CENTERS:
• Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest floor. Stay away from glass enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums and warehouses. Crouch down and cover your head.
• IN CARS OR MOBILE HOMES:
• ABANDON THEM IMMEDIATELY!! Most deaths occur in cars and mobile homes. If you are in either of those locations, leave them and go to a substantial structure or designated tornado shelter.
• IF NO SUITABLE STRUCTURE IS NEARBY:
• Lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression and use your hands to cover your head.
Flash Flooding Safety:
Flash floods and floods are the #1 weather - related killer with around 140 deaths recorded in the U.S. each year.
• WHEN INSIDE:
• If ordered to evacuate or if rising water is threatening, leave immediately and get to higher ground!
• IF CAUGHT OUTDOORS:
• Go to higher ground immediately! Avoid small rivers or streams, low spots, canyons, dry riverbeds, etc.
• Do not try to walk through flowing water more than ankle deep!
• Do not allow children to play around streams, drainage ditches or viaducts, storm drains, or other flooded areas!
• IF IN A VEHICLE:
• DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED AREAS! Even if it looks shallow enough to cross. The large majority of deaths due to flash flooding are due to people driving through flooded areas. Water only one foot deep can displace 1500 lbs! Two feet of water can EASILY carry most automobiles! Roadways concealed by floodwaters may not be intact or washed away.