Preparing for Specific Situations
| Emergency Supply Kit | Evacuation
Plan | Emergency Situations
Lightning or Severe Thunderstorms
During a severe thunderstorm with frequent lightning, it is important
keep away from anything that conducts electricity, such as stoves, metal
pipes, fireplaces, doors and windows. Unplug unnecessary electronic
devices, and if possible, use a cellular phone instead of a land line
in the event you need to get in touch with family. If you are caught
outside in a lightning storm, seek shelter immediately. If you are unable
to find shelter, crouch down with your feet together and head down.
This will minimize contact with the ground, lessening the chance that
you would be electrocuted from a ground strike.
Tornadoes are one of the more destructive forces seen here in Michigan.
The storms that spawn tornadoes can form quickly and without warning,
leaving little time to prepare. Modern technology, however, has increased
our ability to forecast these events. If a tornado watch has been issued
for the area, be alert. Pay attention to signs indicative of worsening
weather conditions. If a tornado warning is sounded, take shelter immediately.
Move to the lowest level of your residence, preferably a basement. If
your home does not have a basement, move to the centermost portion of
your home, and take shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture if possible.
If time allows grab your emergency supply kit and keep it nearby.
Perhaps the most frequent incident in our state which may yield a cause
for an emergency is a winter storm or ice storm. We are all familiar
with Michigan winters, and we know how inundating they can be. In some
cases, a massive snowfall or ice storm may cause you to lose power for
an extended period of time. It is important to have a battery powered
radio handy so you may keep abreast to the storms progress. If you must
go outside, dress appropriately, in several layers. Unless absolutely
necessary, avoid traveling at all costs until officials have had a chance
to make roadways passable once again.
Fire in your Home
Another, perhaps more common emergency situation is a fire at your
place of employment or home. However, there are some simple steps you
can take to prepare yourself if a fire should occur. Installing and
checking smoke alarms, purchasing fire extinguishers, and checking electrical
wires for cracks or frays can greatly reduce the chance of a fire in
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Indicates that conditions are favorable
for a severe thunderstorm to strike
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Indicates that a severe thunderstorm
has either been spotted by trained storm spotters in the area or has
been located on radar
- Winter Weather Advisory - When a winter weather event is imminent,
but causes merely an inconvenience
- Winter Storm Watch - A significant amount of winter weather (i.e.
heavy snow, heavy sleet, freezing rain) is expected for the area, but
is not imminent. This typically gives an advanced warning of 12-36 hours
- Winter Storm Warning - A significant winter storm or hazardous weather
is occurring, is imminent, or is likely, posing a threat to life and
- Blizzard Warning - One can expect winds in excess of 35 mph, blowing
snow, that may reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less for at least 3
hours, and dangerous wind chills are expected
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