WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Severe Weather Safety Severe Weather Safety en-us Copyright 2018, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Fri, 19 Jan 2018 HH:01:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Information, preparation, watches and warnings http://www.wbrz.com/news/information-preparation-watches-and-warnings/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/information-preparation-watches-and-warnings/ Severe Weather Safety Wed, 8 Mar 2017 9:19:48 AM Meteorologist Josh Eachus Information, preparation, watches and warnings

Do you know the difference between a watch and a warning? It is important.

Watch – conditions are favorable for a particular hazard to develop, monitor the forecast and create a plan in case a warning is issued.

Warning – a particular hazard is imminent or happening and you need to take immediate action to be safe. Warnings are issued by county and city names, be sure to know yours.

How can you get watches and warnings? Digital media has made this so much easier.

Aside from the traditional outlets of NOAA weather radio and WBRZ Channel 2, you can now get forecast updates at wbrz.com and follow WBRZ Weather on Facebook and Twitter for breaking watches and warnings. Better yet, the free WBRZ Weather App. sends push notifications to your mobile device as soon as any watch or warning is issued. Just enable the push notifications setting option within the app.

Lastly, the National Weather Service sends wireless emergency alerts to smartphones based on location if a life-threatening situation is developing. While messages will look very similar to text messages when received, they include a special tone and vibration repeated twice. For additional information, on the Wireless Emergency Alert (WES) feature visit the NWS Weather Ready Nation website.

Find out what you can do before severe weather strikes.

Advance Information

The forecast and warning process begins one or more days ahead of time, when the threat area is determined. Hazardous weather outlooks are issued early every morning, and updated as conditions warrant.

If a Watch is Issued
Local weather offices are staffed with extra personnel. State officials are notified and they pass the information to the county and local level. Counties and cities activate their spotter groups as the threat increases. TV and radio stations pass the word to the public.

If a Warning is Issued
Warnings are disseminated swiftly in a multitude of ways, including NOAA Weather Radio, WBRZ Channel 2, wbrz.com and via social media platforms such as WBRZ Weather on Facebook and Twitter. Advances in technology have allowed people to receive warnings via cell phone, pager, and numerous other methods. Spotters provide important reports on the storm, and emergency officials carry out the plans that the emergency managers have developed. Updates are issued frequently until the immediate threat has ended.

Sirens
Some counties and cities own sirens and therefore decide how and when to activate them.  The National Weather Service does not sound them. There are many different policies by counties and cities. Some will activate them across the entire county for a tornado warning only. Others will activate sirens countywide for tornado warnings and all severe thunderstorm warnings. Some will activate sirens across the entire county for tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms that have winds of at least 70 or 75 mph.  Others will activate sirens only for portions of counties. Also, local officials may sound the sirens anytime they believe severe weather is a threat, even if there is no warning from the National Weather Service. Sirens normally sound about 3 minutes and then go silent. It is very rare to keep the sirens sounding for the entire warning, since that will cause the backup battery to run out, which would be critical in the event power goes out. Furthermore, the siren motor will fail much more quickly if the siren sounds continuously. Some jurisdictions may repeat siren activation every few minutes.  There is no such thing as an "All Clear" for storms. You should NOT rely solely on a siren for a warning.

Media
WBRZ Channel 2 receives watch and warning information as soon as it is issued and disseminates it to you, often by interrupting programming or running a crawl at the bottom of the screen. Broadcast updates come on the Cable Weather Channel, WBRZ’s Facebook Page and a live stream continues 24/7 on wbrz.com right HERE. Platforms such as social media and the internet remain available on mobile devices, even if the power goes out.

NOAA Weather Radio...
The tone alert feature of NOAA Weather Radio will activate specially built receivers, sounding an alarm to alert you to the danger.  It sounds its alert anytime the National Weather Service issues a warning, even in the middle of the night. Make sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio, as you cannot always depend on sirens or phone calls.

For more on severe weather awareness week and severe weather safety, CLICK HERE. Stay ahead of severe weather; stay in touch with our weather team on Facebook and Twitter:
@Pat_Shingleton
@JoshEachus
@RG3wbrz
@KellerWatts 


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What you should know: lightning http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-should-know-lightning/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-should-know-lightning/ Severe Weather Safety Wed, 8 Mar 2017 8:49:46 AM Meteorologist Josh Eachus What you should know: lightning

Lightning kills every year, averaging 49 deaths annually in the United States. Few areas see more lightning than Louisiana and because it happens so often, locals have a tendency to take it lightly. 4 people were killed by lightning in Louisiana last year—one in Baton Rouge. All four were outside.  Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year.

The fact is, if you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike. Too many people wait far too long to get to a safe place when thunderstorms approach. Unfortunately, these delayed actions lead to many of the lightning deaths and injuries in the United States. It can, and has struck up to 10 miles from the parent thunderstorm! So “when thunder roars go indoors!” Move into a well-constructed building and avoid electronics or metal surfaces.

The best way for you to protect yourself from lightning is to avoid the threat. You simply don’t want to be caught outside in a storm. Monitor weather conditions and get to a safe place before the weather becomes threatening. Substantial buildings and hard-topped vehicles are safe options. Covered patios, rain shelters, small sheds, and open vehicles are not safe. When inside, do not touch anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet. Cell phones and cordless phones are safe. Also, keep away from outside doors and windows and do not lie on a garage floor.

Stay ahead of severe weather; stay in touch with our weather team on Facebook and Twitter. For more on severe weather awareness week and severe weather safety, CLICK HERE.


There is little you can do to substantially reduce your risk if you are outside in a thunderstorm. The only completely safe action is to get inside a safe building or vehicle.

Sports: The weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, with a chance of thunderstorms by early evening. When you arrive at the park, you notice the only safe buildings are the restrooms. Shortly after sunset, the sky gets cloudy and you see bright flashes in the sky. What should you do? Get everyone into vehicles or the restrooms. Do NOT stay in the dugouts; they are not safe during lightning activity. Once in a safe place, wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before resuming play.

Beach or Lake: The weather forecast calls for a nice morning followed by a 30 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms. When you get to the beach, you see that the only nearby structures are open-sided picnic shelters. The parking lot is a 5 minute walk from the beach. By early afternoon skies are darkening and hear distant thunder. What should you do? Go to your car! Do NOT seek shelter under the beach picnic shelters. Wait 30 minutes until after the last rumble of thunder before going back to the beach.

Park or Wilderness: You're cooking dinner on the camp stove when you hear distant rumbles of thunder. Your tent and a large open sided picnic shelter are nearby. Your vehicle is about quarter of a mile away parked at the trail head. What should you do? Go to your vehicle! The tent and picnic shelter are NOT safe places. Wait 30 minutes until after the last rumble of thunder before going back to the campsite. For those who cannot get to a vehicle, here are tips from the National Outdoor Leadership School on what to do in the back country, in a canoe, etc., as a last resort.

If you absolutely cannot get to safety, you can slightly lessen the threat of being struck with the following tips. But don't kid yourself--you are NOT safe outside. Know the weather patterns of the area you plan to visit. For example, in mountainous areas, thunderstorms typically develop in the early afternoon, so plan to hike early in the day and be down the mountain by noon. Listen to the weather forecast for the outdoor area you plan to visit. The forecast may be very different from the one near your home. If there is a high chance of thunderstorms, stay inside.

  • Avoid open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.
  • Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees.
  • If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the current traveling between group members.
  • If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine or other low area. Remember, a tent offers NO protection from lighting.
  • Stay away from water, wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract lightning but they are excellent conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning flash will easily travel for long distances.

Protect yourself when on a bicycle, motorcycle or dirt bike. Carry a portable NOAA Weather Radio or listen to commercial radio. If you see threatening skies in the distance and you are near a safe building, pull over and wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before resuming your ride. The vast majority of lightning injuries and deaths on boats occur on small boats with NO cabin. It is crucial to listen to weather information when you are boating. If thunderstorms are forecast, do not go out. If you are out and cannot get back to land and safety, drop anchor and get as low as possible. Large boats with cabins, especially those with lightning protection systems properly installed, or metal marine vessels are relatively safe. Remember to stay inside the cabin and away from any metal surfaces. Stay off the radio unless it is an emergency!

Below are some key safety tips for you, your pets and your home. There are three main ways lightning enters structures: a direct strike, through wires or pipes that extend outside the structure, and through the ground. Once in a structure, lightning can travel through the electrical, phone, plumbing, and radio/television reception systems. Lightning can also travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

  • Stay off corded phones. You can use cellular or cordless phones.
  • Don't touch electrical equipment such as computers, TVs, or cords. You can remote controls safety.
  • Avoid plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes.
  • Stay away from windows and doors that might have small leaks around the sides to let in lightning, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors or lean againt concrete walls.
  • Protect your pets: Dog houses are not safe shelters. Dogs that are chained to trees or on metal runners are particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes.
  • Protect your property: Lightning generates electric surges that can damage electronic equipment some distance from the actual strike. Typical surge protectors will not protect equipment from a lightning strike. The American Meteorological Society has tips for protecting your electronics from lightning. Do not unplug equipment during a thunderstorm as there is a risk you could be struck.

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What you should know: tornadoes http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-should-know-tornadoes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-should-know-tornadoes/ Severe Weather Safety Wed, 8 Mar 2017 8:19:22 AM Meteorologist Josh Eachus What you should know: tornadoes

A Tornado Warning is issued when the National Weather Service detects a rotating thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado, or storm spotters confirm that one is on the ground. A tornado emergency is declared when populated areas are in the path of a confirmed tornado on the ground.

A tornado is a rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm cloud to the ground. Tornadoes are capable of completely destroying well-made structures, uprooting trees, and hurling objects through the air like deadly missiles. The sight of these monsters and their swirling path of devastation is often unmistakable.

Strength measured by the speed of their swirling winds, the most violent tornadoes can produce winds over 200mph. The Enhanced Fujita Scale is used to rate tornadoes—officially determined after the fact based on damage observations. The ratings, corresponding wind speeds, and expected damages are as follows:

 

ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE

WEAK

EF0

65-85mph

shingle, siding, gutter damage, broken tree branches

EF1

86-110mph

roof damage, windows broken, mobile homes overturned

STRONG

EF2

111-135mph

roofs torn, homes shifted, trees snapped, cars rolled

EF3

136-165mph

sturdy buildings damaged, tree bark removed, cars thrown

VIOLENT

EF4

166-200mph

Sturdy buildings leveled, cars thrown long distances

EF5

>200mph

sturdy buildings thrown long distances, trees stripped bare

 

For Louisiana, tornadoes can occur any time of the year but are most likely in March, April and May with a secondary peak in November. Most occur in the afternoon and evening but are not impossible overnight. Unfortunately, nocturnal tornadoes have a much greater chance of causing fatalities and injuries as many people are asleep and not monitoring weather conditions or media to know if warnings have been issued. Especially in the saturated air of the south—many tornadoes may be rain-wrapped and difficult to see until it is too late, which is why it’s important to take all warnings seriously!

When a tornado warning is issued for your location, take action as you are in an immediately life-threatening situation. Move to a small, low-level, interior room away from windows if possible. Sit on the floor and cover your head. If you are in a mobile home or vehicle, there is no safe place to be! Get out, and seek shelter in the nearest sturdy building.

Don’t put yourself in this situation. When a tornado watch is issued, that means tornadic thunderstorms could develop later. Come up with a safe place plan, and consider going there before any warnings are issued.

Stay ahead of severe weather; stay in touch with our weather team on Facebook and Twitter. For more on severe weather awareness week and severe weather safety, CLICK HERE.


Before a Tornado:

Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk for tornadoes. Check in with WBRZ Channel 2 or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings. Check the Weather-Ready Nation for tips.

Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warnings. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents of severe storms capable of producing tornadoes.

Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home, such as a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Check more ideas for your family plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when tornado warnings are issued. Don't forget pets if time allows.

Prepare Your Home: Consider having your safe room reinforced. You can find plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.

Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt.

During a Tornado:

Stay Weather-Ready: Continue to check in with WBRZ Channel 2 or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about tornado watches and warnings.

At Your House: If you are in a tornado warning, go to your basement, safe room, or an interior room away from windows. Don't forget pets if time allows.

At Your Workplace or School: Follow your tornado drill and proceed to your tornado shelter location quickly and calmly. Stay away from windows and do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums.

Outside: Seek shelter inside a sturdy building immediately if a tornado is approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe.

In a vehicle: Being in a vehicle during a tornado is not safe. The best course of action is to drive to the closest shelter. If you are unable to make it to a safe shelter, either get down in your car and cover your head, or abandon your car and seek shelter in a low lying area such as a ditch or ravine.

After a Tornado

Stay Informed: Continue to check in with WBRZ Channel 2 or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about tornado watches and warnings. Multiple rounds of thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes are possible during severe weather outbreaks.

Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you're okay so they can help spread the word. Text messages or social media are more reliable forms of communication than phone calls.

Assess the Damage: After the threat for tornadoes has ended, check to see if your property has been damaged. When walking through storm damage, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes. Contact local authorities if you see power lines down. Stay out of damaged buildings. Be aware of insurance scammers if your property has been damaged.

Help Your Neighbor: If you come across people that are injured and you are properly trained, provide first aid to victims if needed until emergency responders arrive.

 


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What you should know: flooding http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-should-know-flooding/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-should-know-flooding/ Severe Weather Safety Tue, 7 Mar 2017 9:31:38 AM Meteorologist Josh Eachus What you should know: flooding

A Flash Flood Warning is issued when the National Weather Service detects an unusually high amount of rain that could lead to rising creeks, streams, rivers and dangerous runoff. A Flash Flood Emergency means extremely heavy rainfall has already occurred will continue to occur, and emergency officials are reporting rises in water that are resulting in water rescues or evacuations.

Flash flooding is a result of sudden, heavy rainfall commonly produced from slow-moving intense thunderstorms or multiple rounds of thunderstorms occurring over the same area. Flash flooding can also occur with a dam or levee failure. Flash floods become raging torrents of water which rip through creek beds, city streets, and areas of poor drainage, sweeping away everything before them. Over the last 30 years, on average, flash flooding kills more people each year than any other weather phenomenon. Stats from around the U.S. show about 85 fatalities per year due to flooding.

Almost half of all flash flooding deaths occur in vehicles. You’ve heard it before, “turn around, don’t drown!” Two-feet of moving water can move most vehicles including pick-up trucks. Once water reaches your car door, it is close enough to enter the exhaust pipe or engine, stalling you out and causing serious damage. So, “hit the brakes y’all, don’t stall!” And just a few inches of moving water can knock a strong adult off of their feet.

So if a flash flood warning is issued, do not try to cross any street where the water depth is unknown – even if it is a road you travel each day, there is no telling what lies beneath. Move to higher ground and if officials ask you to move from or avoid certain areas, listen to them!

Determine your risk of flash flooding by knowing your proximity to streams. Densely populated areas are at a greater risk for flash flooding because pavement and concrete increases runoff. Less water being absorbed by the ground means there is more water available to overwhelm storm drains and flood low-lying areas.

For outdoor enthusiasts, it is important to be aware of rain potential before you head out—especially if fishing or camping near a body of water. A creek that is only six-inches deep can rise up to 10 feet if an area is inundated with intense rainfall. Quick water level rises, a muddy discoloration or loud noise may be a sign of trouble upstream meaning you should move to safer ground.

Stay ahead of severe weather; stay in touch with our weather team on Facebook and Twitter. For more on severe weather awareness week and severe weather safety, CLICK HERE.


Before Flooding:

Create a Communications Plan: It is important to be able to communicate with your family and friends in the event of a disaster. Whether it is having a specific person identified to contact for status updates or a safe location to meet up with family members, having a plan in place will give you peace of mind if disaster does strike.

Assemble an Emergency Kit: It is good practice to have enough food, water and medicine on hand at all times to last you at least 3 days in the case of an emergency. Water service may be interrupted or unsafe to drink and food requiring little cooking and no refrigeration may be needed if electric power is interrupted. You should also have batteries, blankets, flashlights, first aid kit, rubber boots, rubber gloves, and a NOAA Weather Radio or other battery operated radio easily available.

Know Your Risk: Is your home, business or school in a floodplain? Where is water likely to collect on the roadways you most often travel? What is the fastest way to get to higher ground? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can save your life.

Sign up for Notifications: The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service provides RSS feeds for observed forecast and alert river conditions to help keep the public informed about local water conditions.

Prepare Your Home: You may be evacuated, so pack in advance. Don't wait until the last moment to gather the essentials for yourself, your family and/or your pets.

  1. If you have access to sandbags or other materials, use them to protect your home from flood waters if you have sufficient time to do so. Filling sandbags can take more time than you may think.
  1. Have a professional install check-valves in plumbing to prevent flood waters from backing up into the drains of your home. Make sure your sump pump is working and consider having a backup. Make sure your electric circuit breakers, or fuses, are clearly marked for each area of your home.
  2. Since standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, ensure coverage by contacting your insurance company or agent to purchase flood insurance. This must be done before there is even a threat of flooding as insurance companies stop issuing policies if there is a threat of flooding. (i.e. an approaching hurricane). Many flood insurance policies take at least 30 days to go into effect so even if you can buy it as a storm is approaching, it may not protect your investment.

Charge your Essential Electronics: Make sure your cell phone and portable radios are all charged in case you lose power or need to evacuate. Also make sure you have back-up batteries on hand.

Leave: If it is likely your home will flood, don't wait to be ordered to leave; evacuate yourself! Make alternative plans for a place to stay. If you have pets, take them with you or make arrangements to board them at a facility well away from the flooding danger.

During Flooding:

Stay Informed:  Check in with WBRZ Channel 2, wbrz.com and WBRZ Weather social media platforms for information and updates.

Get To Higher Ground: Get out of areas subject to flooding and get to higher ground immediately.

Obey Evacuation Orders: If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Be sure to lock your home as you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.

Practice Electrical Safety: Don't go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises --get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!

Avoid Flood Waters: Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 for help. Do not drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Turn Around, Don't Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide many hazards (i.e. sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc). A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in a matter of seconds. Twelve inches of water can float a car or small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.

After Flooding

Stay Informed: Check in with WBRZ Channel 2, wbrz.com and WBRZ Weather social media platforms for information and updated road conditions. Ensure water is safe to drink, cook or clean with after a flood. Oftentimes a boil water order is put in place following a flood. Check with utility companies to find out when electricity or gas services may be restored. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms when areas are dealing with power outages. Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage. Review generator safety

Avoid flood water: Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. There may be debris under the water and the road surface may have been compromised.

If it is likely your home will flood, don't wait to be ordered to leave; evacuate yourself! Make alternative plans for a place to stay. If you have pets, take them with you or make arrangements to board them at a facility well away from the flooding danger.

Avoid disaster areas: Do not visit disaster areas! Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.

Heed road closed and disaster area signs: Road closure and other cautionary signs are put in place for your safety. Pay attention to them!

Wait for the all clear: Do not enter a flood damaged home or building until you're given the all clear by authorities. If you choose to enter a flood damaged building, be extremely careful. Water can compromise the structural integrity and its foundation. Make sure the electrical system has been turned off, otherwise contact the power company or a qualified electrician. Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss the damage done to your property. If you have a home generator, be sure to follow proper safety procedures for use. You can find generator safety information at: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/co/generator.shtm

Contact family and friends: Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word. Register with or search the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well listings.


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What you should know: severe thunderstorms http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-should-know-severe-thunderstorms/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-should-know-severe-thunderstorms/ Severe Weather Safety Mon, 6 Mar 2017 11:09:43 AM Meteorologist Josh Eachus What you should know: severe thunderstorms

A Severe Thunderstorm warning is issued when the National Weather Service detects a thunderstorm that is capable of producing wind gusts of in excess of 58 miles per hour or hail that is over one-inch in diameter. Severe Thunderstorms can even produce flash flooding and tornadoes. While lightning is certainly a serious danger, it is not part of the severe thunderstorm warning criteria. Out of data collected from 1950-2012, severe wind and hail occurred 9 times more often than tornadoes.  

Severe Thunderstorms should never be taken lightly. Gusty thunderstorm winds can carve out an even larger, and sometimes more significant, damage path than tornadoes. Winds over 58mph can break off large branches, knock over trees or cause building damage. Large hail can damage crops, cars, homes, or worse, cause you serious injury.

So if a Severe Thunderstorm warning is issued, move inside of a sturdy structure for protection, preferably one that is enclosed to avoid lightning. Once inside, stay away from windows and electronics. Wait until the storm passes to go outside.

Stay ahead of severe weather; stay in touch with our weather team on Facebook and Twitter. For more on severe weather awareness week and severe weather safety, CLICK HERE.


Before Severe Weather:

Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk for severe thunderstorms. Check in with WBRZ Channel 2 or NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. Check the Weather-Ready Nation for tips.

Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warning. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents to severe storms.

Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don't forget pets if time allows.

Prepare Your Home: Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.

Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.

During Severe Weather:

Stay Weather Ready: Acting quickly is key to staying safe and minimizing impacts. Continue to Check in with WBRZ Channel 2 or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.

At Your House: Go to your secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.

At Your Workplace or School: Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.

Outside: Go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.

In a Vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.

After Severe Weather

Stay Informed: Continue to check in with WBRZ Channel 2or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. More severe thunderstorms could be headed your way.

Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you're okay so they can help spread the word. Text messages or social media are more reliable forms of communication than phone calls.

Assess the Damage: After you are sure the severe weather threat has ended, check your property for damages. When walking through storm damage, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes. Contact local authorities if you see power lines down. Stay out of damaged buildings. Be aware of insurance scammers if your property has been damaged.

Help Your Neighbor: If you come across people that are injured and you are properly trained, if needed, provide first aid to victims until emergency responders arrive.


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The time is now: Your Severe Weather Safety Plan http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-time-is-now-your-severe-weather-safety-plan/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-time-is-now-your-severe-weather-safety-plan/ Severe Weather Safety Fri, 3 Mar 2017 1:37:09 PM Meteorologist Josh Eachus The time is now: Your Severe Weather Safety Plan

Tornadoes, damaging thunderstorm winds, large hail, and flash floods can occur at any time of the year. However, late winter and spring usually bring the greatest chance of these severe weather events occurring in Louisiana.

The goal of severe weather awareness is to call attention to the threats posed by these weather hazards and to review severe weather safety rules in an attempt to reduce the loss of life and injury. Post-storm interviews with survivors of severe weather events prove that preventative safety measures greatly enhance the chance of survival.

Now is the time to develop a severe weather safety plan. A successful plan should include:

  • Knowledge of terminology such as watches and warnings
  • Knowledge of safety rules to follow when severe weather strikes
  • A reliable method of receiving emergency information
  • Review and testing of the plan.

Emergency managers, schools, government agencies, private businesses, and local citizens are encouraged to review their severe weather safety plans and conduct drills as appropriate. 

What can you do to be ready? Develop a severe weather plan. The National Weather Service says that post-storm interviews with survivors confirm that having a safety plan in place greatly increases the chance of survival. A successful severe weather plan consists of knowing the meanings of watches and warnings, knowing safety rules pertinent to each severe weather hazard and having a reliable source of weather and emergency information. 

During a severe weather situation, you may be advised to shelter in place or evacuate. Sheltering in place means going indoors, closing all windows and doors and staying put until the severe weather has passed and the all clear has been given by local officials. Evacuating requires families to have a plan for where they will go if their homes are unsafe. Identify several friends, family members or others that you can stay with during an evacuation. Remember: when severe weather hits, your original evacuation place may not be available, so you should have a backup plan.

An important part of every family or person’s severe weather plan is packing an emergency kit that includes the items they will need in case they have to shelter in place or evacuate because of severe weather. This kit should include, among other supplies: flashlights, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio and lantern, a first aid kit, canned food and a non-electric can opener, special medical items for any members of the family with special needs, high energy foods like peanut butter and jelly, crackers and granola bars, a utility knife, plastic sheeting, protective clothing and rainwear, a change of clothes for each family member and at least three gallons of water per person and pet. Stashing all supplies in one place will help families locate them in the event of a power outage. If a family must leave its home, the kit can go with them.

Stay ahead of severe weather; stay in touch with our weather team on social media:

Facebook: WBRZ Weather
Twitter: @WBRZweather
@Pat_Shingleton
@JoshEachus
@RG3wbrz
@KellerWatts  


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