If a tornado was approaching, would you know what to do?
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:
- In homes or small business: 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. See the emergency reaction map in your school to know where to go in case of an emergency. Crouch down and cover your head.
- In high-rise buildings: Go to interior small rooms or halls. Stay away from exterior walls or glassy areas.
- 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 Flood Safety
Do you know what to do if you see water crossing over a roadway?
Flash floods and gradual floods are the number one 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 out of doors: 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 attributed to flash flooding result from 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.
Lightning causes around 100 deaths in the U.S. annually (more than hurricanes and tornadoes combined).
- 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, like the interior of 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.
The City of Ankeny Office of Emergency Management urges all residents to familiarize themselves with these precautions and to take appropriate measures whenever severe weather approaches.
Last updated: 10/10/2012 1:52:39 PM