Written by Danne Niespodzianski, Safety Director at CORA Physical Therapy
During the last year, it seems all we have talked about is the Coronavirus and COVID-19. From a health and safety perspective, it has been THE main focus. Who is ready to talk about something different? I know I am!
Let’s talk about summer weather! Summer brings hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, oh my! Weather always is a concern during the summer, because let’s face it, no one wants the weather to ruin their plans or vacation. But we should be prepared and know how to respond to a severe weather event to keep ourselves, families, and friends safe!
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has predicted a 60% chance of 2021 being an above-normal hurricane season with 3-5 Major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). With these predictions, if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, now is the time to get prepared.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Know your hurricane risk. Hurricanes are not just a problem for the coastal areas.
- Make an emergency plan. Be sure everyone knows what the plan is.
- If you live in an evacuation zone, be aware of your evacuation route.
- Strengthen your home by cleaning out drains and gutters, bringing in furniture, and possibly investing in hurricane shutters.
- Gather supplies including medications, disinfectants/cleaners, masks, and pet supplies.
- During a hurricane watch or warning, pay attention to emergency alerts and information, and if you live in an evacuation zone and you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
You can visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes#before to learn more about how to prepare for hurricanes, and how to stay safe during and after one.
National Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
The U.S. sees an average of 1000 tornadoes per year. If you live in area where tornadoes are common, knowing how to stay safe during one is important information to have.
Here are a few things to help you stay safe during a tornado:
- Immediately go to a safe location that you have identified already. The basement or a small, interior, windowless room are both good locations.
- Pay attention to emergency alert systems for current emergency information and instructions.
- Protect yourself by covering your head and neck with your arms and putting items like furniture and blankets around or on top of you.
You can visit https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes for more information and guidance on how to prepare for a tornado and how to stay safe after one.
The last weather event we are going to talk about are floods. Did you know that floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S.? Well, now you do! Not evacuating a flooded area, or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death.
Floods can come on slowly or quickly. Flash floods can happen with no warning. All floods have the potential to cause outages, damage buildings, and create landslides.
If you are under a Flood warning:
- Find shelter immediately
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
- 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can take your car.
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
To learn more about preparing for a flood and staying safe during and after one, visit https://www.ready.gov/floods.
I hope you have found some value in this information. Even it if is just one thing you didn’t know, it is one more thing you can now implement to help keep you and your loved ones safe. I hope everyone enjoys their summer, and all of that potential severe weather cuts us some slack this year. We deserve it, don’t we?