McCreary County Emergency Management Posts
Emergency Preparedness Plans:
Prepare for severe weather, urge NOAA and FEMA
Be a Force of Nature: know your risk, take action, be an example
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have partnered again this year for National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 3 to 9. During this week, NOAA and FEMA are calling on people across the country to Be a Force of Nature in their communities by preparing for severe weather and encouraging others to do so as well.
Severe weather is far more common than most people realize. The five most dangerous weather hazards -- tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, floods and winter storms, can be powerful and damaging. While spring is considered the height of the season, severe weather occurs in every month of the year. In 2012, there were more than 450 weather related fatalities and over 2,600 injuries.
“Improvements in the accuracy and timeliness of forecasts and warnings, and the way we communicate weather threats are helping the public stay safe,” said Dr. Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. “But this information can save lives and property only if individuals and communities know when and how to take proper action. Preparing for severe weather is a component of building a Weather-Ready Nation and is a national priority.”
“Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “We urge everyone to take steps in advance and to pledge to prepare, take action and share what you have done with others. You can find information on how to prepare for severe weather at Ready.gov.”
Be a Force of Nature - Every one of us has the potential to help our communities prepare for extreme weather by following these guidelines:
Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Every state in the United States has experienced tornadoes and severe weather, so everyone is exposed to some degree of risk. Check the weather forecast regularly and visit Ready.gov/severeweather to learn more about how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family when severe weather strikes.
Take Action, Pledge to Prepare: Be a Force of Nature by making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. Pledge to prepare at Ready.gov. Fill out your family communications plan that you can email to yourself, put together an emergency kit, and keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Stay informed by having multiple sources for weather alerts such as a NOAA Weather Radio, Weather.gov, and Wireless Emergency Alerts. And, sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials.
Be an example: Once you have taken action, Be a Force of Nature by telling family, friends, and co-workers to do the same. Share the resources and alert systems you discovered through your social media network.
Create a preparedness video and post on a video sharing site; post your story through your social media network and comment on a blog. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be a good example and share the steps you took to help us achieve the vision of a Weather-Ready Nation.
Join us today and pledge to prepare for the severe weather in our area.
In partnership, NOAA and FEMA have developed a tool kit that can be found at ready.gov/severeweather that includes key information related to severe weather. Each day of severe weather week, NOAA and FEMA will share key information on preparedness such as how to develop an emergency plan, what to include in a plan, tips to better understand a forecast, and steps to recovery through our social channels. Follow us today.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels at social media channels.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard.
Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible.
Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.
The following are facts about tornadoes:
P They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
P They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
P The average tornado moves southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
P The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 MPH, but may vary from stationary to 70 MPH.
P Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
P Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
P Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
P Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
P Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but can occur at any time.
What to do Before a Tornado
Be alert to changing weather conditions.
t Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.
t Look for approaching storms
t Look for the following danger signs:
s Dark, often greenish sky
s Large hail
s A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
s Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
What to Do During a Tornado
If you are under a tornado WARNING, seek shelter immediately!
If you are in:
A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.
A vehicle, trailer, or mobile home
Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter
Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
March 15 – 19 is Flood Safety Awareness Week
Before a Flood
To prepare for a flood, you should:
h Avoid building in a flood prone area unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
h Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
h Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
h Contact community officials to find out if they are planning to construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the homes in your area.
h Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
After a Flood
The First Steps
Your home has been flooded. Although floodwaters may be down in some areas, many dangers still exist. Here are some things to remember in the days ahead.
h Roads may still be closed because they have been damaged or are covered by water. Barricades have been placed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, go another way.
h Keep listening to the radio for news about what to do, where to go, or places to avoid.
h Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
h If you must walk or drive in areas that have been flooded
s Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
s Flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Flood debris may hide animals and broken bottles, and it's also slippery. Avoid walking or driving through it.
h Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. Listen for local warnings and information. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.
A flood can cause emotional and physical stress. You need to look after yourself and your family as you focus on cleanup and repair.
§ Rest often and eat well.
§ Keep a manageable schedule. Make a list and do jobs one at a time.
§ Discuss your concerns with others and seek help. Contact Red Cross for information on emotional support available in your area.
Cleaning Up and Repairing Your Home
Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community. That way, you can decide when your home is dry enough to turn it back on.
ë The American Red Cross can help you by providing you with a voucher to purchase new clothing, groceries, essential medications, bedding, essential furnishings, and other items to meet emergency needs. Listen to the radio to find out where to go for assistance, or look up American Red Cross in the phone book and call.
ë The Red Cross can provide you with a cleanup kit: mop, broom, bucket, and cleaning supplies.
ë Contact your insurance agent to discuss claims.
ë Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the state or federal government or other organizations.
ë If you hire cleanup or repair contractors, be sure they are qualified to do the job. Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help in cleaning up or repairing your home. Check references.
Driving in Flood Facts
The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:
Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
A foot of water will float many vehicles.
Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
Please remember, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!!”
Burn Awareness Safety
Burns have long been recognized as among the most painful and devastating injuries a person can sustain and survive.