Delano Municipal Utilities
Storm Season is here : Are You Ready?
Did you know that in April 2011 the death toll from severe storms in just the southern United States reached 300? Then in late fall 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, costing the region $65 billion.
While nothing can prevent storms from happening, being prepared helps to reduce much of the fear, anxiety and losses that often accompany them. Advance preparation will help to keep your family safe and protect your property from damage.
Before a storm hits
Before the storm arrives, take steps to stay safe and minimize damage.
Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for up to the minute information about any storm watches or warnings in your area.
Keep supplies in an emergency preparedness kit. Suggested items include water bottles, non-perishable food, blankets, first-aid supplies, flashlights and a battery powered radio.
Make sure your yard is free of heavy debris that could be tossed around in the wind, and trim trees to prevent limbs from falling on your house.
Contact your local emergency management office for information about local shelters, evacuation plans, and emergency exit routes.
Tornadoes are rotating columns of air that extend downward from a cumulonimbus cloud to the ground. They are capable of destroying homes, uprooting trees and hurling objects through the air.
While most common in the Midwest, tornadoes have been reported in every state. Outdoor sirens are common, but communities have different methods of warning residents about tornadoes—get to know your community's tornado warning system.
Choose a safe area in your home where you and your family can gather if a tornado warning is issued. This area should be located in the basement or a room that has no windows and is located on the lowest level of your home.
Conduct routine tornado drills with the entire family so that everyone knows where to go and what to do if a tornado is approaching.
Watch for signs of a tornado: a dark-colored sky, low-lying clouds, large hail or a loud roar.
Thunderstorms produce lightning, which kills more people every year (on average) than tornadoes and hurricanes. The rain and heavy winds often associated with these storms can cause flooding, damage to homes and widespread power outages.
Learn about your community's emergency warning system and discuss lightning safety with your entire family.
If a thunderstorm appears likely, postpone all outdoor activities.
If a thunderstorm watch or warning is issued, take shelter in your home or other building.
Shutter all windows and close exterior doors securely.
Preparing for a flood
Storms often lead to flash flooding, which can be among the most damaging and costly of all natural disasters.
Learn your vulnerability to flooding by determining the elevation of your property.
If you live in a flood-prone area, keep sandbags, plywood and plastic sheeting on hand.
Contact your local emergency management agency. They will tell you what protective measures should be taken around your home or business.
Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood; prepare an alternate course if your planned evacuation route is impassable.
Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
Standard homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage. If you live in a flood-prone area, see the National Flood Insurance Program for information about obtaining flood insurance.
Although your electric service is generally reliable, a storm may lead to an extended power outage. To prepare for a power outage, be sure to have candles and flashlights available. Use a battery-powered radio to get information about the latest weather conditions and the status of power restoration. For back-up power during an outage, consider purchasing a generator.