Department of Public Protection
Stay Alert and Act Promptly When Storms Approach
Staying alert and acting promptly can save lives during severe storms, says State Fire Marshal Rodney Raby. Here are tips to stay safe when storms are expected, and precautions to take in the moments and hours after a storm strikes.
When storms are forecast, listen to radio and television for weather information and keep a weather radio handy. If a tornado warning is issued for your county, you must act immediately:
- Move to a designated shelter, such as a basement. If you are in a high-rise, get to the lowest level possible.
- Stay out of elevators during a tornado.
- If no underground room is available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
- Stay away from windows and do not open them.
- If you are in a car, get out of the vehicle and seek shelter in a ditch or depression and cover your head.
- If you live in a mobile home, seek shelter nearby.
Fire Marshal Raby said the time immediately after a storm strikes can be confusing and chaotic. Here are some common sense actions to take to find out what resources are available to you and how to protect yourself and your property:
- Stay tuned to local broadcast news outlets for important instructions concerning the storm area, medical aid and other assistance.
- Avoid driving, as roads may be blocked.
- If you venture out, carry current identification. You may have to pass through identification check points.
- Use a phone only in an emergency since telephone circuits may well be overwhelmed.
- Don’t use matches until all gas lines are checked for leaks.
The State Fire Marshal staff is in the Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction. The office is part of the Department of Public Protection in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.