Winter Storm / Other
Winter Storm / Other
General Preparedness Tips for Severe Weather
- “The greatest severe weather threat in the U.S. extends from Texas to southern Minnesota. But, no place in the United States is completely safe from the threat of severe weather.”
- “Over the contiguous 48 states, an average of 20,000,000 cloud-to-ground flashes have been detected every year since the lightning detection network covered all of the continental US in 1989. In addition, about half of all flashes have more than one ground strike point, so at least 30 million points on the ground are struck on the average each year in the US.”
- “Though Florida has the most thunderstorms, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming usually have the most hail storms. The area where these three states meet – ‘hail alley’ averages seven to nine hail days per year. The reason why this area gets so much hail is that the freezing levels (the area of the atmosphere at 32 degrees or less) in the high plains are much closer to the ground than they are at sea level, where hail has plenty of time to melt before reaching the ground.”
- Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. Sign up for email updates about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Gather supplies, in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights. If you are able to, set aside items like soap, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfecting wipes, and general household cleaning supplies that you can use to disinfect surfaces you touch regularly.
- Remember that not everyone can afford to respond by stocking up on necessities. For those who can afford it, making essential purchases and slowly building up supplies in advance will allow for longer time periods between shopping trips. This helps to protect those who are unable to procure essentials in advance of the pandemic and must shop more frequently. In addition, consider avoiding WIC-labeled products so that those who rely on these products can access them.
- Being prepared allows you to avoid unnecessary excursions and to address minor medical issues at home, alleviating the burden on urgent care centers and hospitals.
- If you are sick and need medical attention, contact your healthcare provider for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and let the operator know if you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a mask before help arrives.
(Wildfire) Survive During:
- Evacuate. Leave immediately if authorities tell you to do so. If possible, bring items with you when you evacuate that can help protect you and others from COVID-19 while sheltering. Examples include handsanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, cleaning materials, and two masks per person to prevent the spread of infection.
- If you are unable to stay with family and friends and must stay at a shelter or public facility, take steps to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19. Wash your hands often, maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between you and people who are not part of your household, wear a mask. If you can, wash your mask regularly. Mask should not be worn by children under 2 years old, people who have trouble breathing, and people who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the covering.
- Pay attention to any health symptoms if you have asthma, COPD, heart disease, or are pregnant. If you are sick and need medical attention, contact your healthcare provider for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and let the operator know if you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before help arrives. If staying at a shelter or public facility, alert shelter staff immediately so they can call a local hospital or clinic.
- If you already have an N95 mask, use this to protect yourself from smoke inhalation. N95 masks also protect against the spread of COVID-19, however, they should be reserved for healthcare workers. If are in a public cleaner air space or shelter, use a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Due to COVID-19, it may be difficult to find respirators. While cloth masks, surgical masks, and dust masks provide protection from exposure to COVID-19, they will not protect you from smoke inhalation.
- To ensure that healthcare workers have access to N95 respirators, it is best to limit your exposure to smoke rather than buy respirators. If you do not already have N95 respirators, you can reduce your exposure to smoke by doing the following:
- Choose a room to close off from outside air and set up a portable air cleaner or filter to keep the air in this room clean even when it’s smoky in the rest of the building and outdoors.
- Use high-efficiency filters in your central air conditioning system to capture fine particles from smoke. If your system has fresh air intake, set the system to “recirculate” mode and close the outdoor intake damper.
- Avoid using anything that burns, such as candles and fireplaces. Do not vacuum, as vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke tobacco or other products. Smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
(Tsunami) Survive During:
- If you are in a tsunami area and there is an earthquake, first protect yourself from the earthquake. Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Drop to your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops. Crawl only if you can reach better cover, but do not go through an area with more debris. If possible, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose, especially after touching high-touch surfaces, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- If you are in the water, grab onto something that floats, such as a raft, tree trunk, or door. There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through water.
Be Safe After:
- Avoid wading in floodwater, which can contain dangerous debris. Water may be deeper than it appears. There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through water, however, floodwaters may contain debris, chemicals, or waste that are harmful to your health.
- If you become injured or sickandneedmedicalattention, contact your healthcare provider for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and let the operator know if you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a mask before help arrives. If staying at a shelter or public facility, alert shelter staff immediately so they can call a local hospital or clinic.
- Engage virtually with your community through video and phone calls. Know that it’s normal to feel anxious or stressed. Take care of your body and talk to someone if you are feeling upset. Many people may already feel fear and anxiety about the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).