Submitted by Bruce Owens
Henry County Emergency Management
March 2008 has been designated as Severe Storms Preparedness Month across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The National Weather Service offices that serve the state of Kentucky along with the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management and the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee have designated this month as a time for severe weather preparedness. Tornado drills are being conducted in schools and factories.
The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management and Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee urge you and your family to review these safety tips as we enter the peak severe weather season in Kentucky.
Flash Flooding Safety Rules
Flash floods and floods are the number one storm related killer in Kentucky and across the United States.
If driving, do not drive through flooded areas even if it looks shallow enough to cross. The majority of deaths due to flooding are due to people driving through flooded areas. Water only one foot deep can displace 1500 pounds! Two feet of water can easily carry most vehicles. Roadways concealed by floodwaters may not be intact.
If caught outside, go to higher ground immediately! Avoid small rivers or streams, low spots, culverts or ravines. Do not try to walk through flowing water more than ankle deep as it only takes six inches of water to knock you off your feet. Do not allow children to play around streams, drainage ditches or viaducts, storm drains or other flooded areas.
If ordered to evacuate or if rising water is threatening, leave immediately and get to higher grounds.
Lightning Safety Rules
Lightning is the number two storm related killer. In Kentucky, more people are killed by lightning in an average year than tornadoes. Although severe thunderstorm warnings are not issued for lightning, you should move to shelter when thunder is heard as lightning can strike to 10 to 15 miles away from where the rain is falling.
If outside 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.
If inside, avoid using the telephone except for emergencies or other electrical appliances.
Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.
Tornado/Severe Thunderstorm Safety Rules
In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter such as a basement.
If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outdoors.
Stay away from windows.
Get out of automobiles.
Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately for safe shelter. Do not seek shelter in an underpass.
If caught outside or in a vehicle, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
Be aware of flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes and high winds causes most fatalities and injuries.
Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes or high winds. You should leave a mobile home and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy building or storm shelter.
For more information contact Bruce Owens at (502) 845-2653 or (502) 845-4916.