04/29/14 “At Least 17 Killed as tornadoes rip through Arkansas and Oklahoma”
A tragic reminder of why it is so important to prepared. While we obviously cannot control the weather, we can control our preparedness and response to these situations.
Be prepared by:
* Developing a Family Emergency Plan – include emergency contact numbers for work, school, and for a relative outside of the area for everyone to be able to check in with. Establish a designated location for everyone to meet.
* Reviewing and practicing your plan so everyone understands what they need to do if an emergency occurs.
* Putting together an emergency preparedness kit. Include flashlight(s), batteries, first-aid kit, water, canned or dried foods, medication (prescription and over the counter), personal hygiene items, extra pair of glasses, season appropriate clothing, insurance information and don’t forget your pets (food, water, medicine).
* Listening to weather reports. If severe weather is forecast for your area, be sure to continue to monitor it for updates regarding watches and warnings that may be issued.
If a Tornado Watch is issued be prepared to move quickly to a safe area. The basement is the safest place. If you live in a mobile or modular home, identify a more sturdy structure to shelter in prior to severe weather occurring.
If a Tornado Warning is issued. Seek shelter immediately. Take a portable radio with you so you are able to monitor conditions.
* Knowing your community’s warning system. In Marshall County, outdoor warning sirens are not all controlled by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department. Some of the jurisdictions activate their own. The tone for a tornado warning alert is a continuous high-pitch tone lasting approximately 3 minutes.
After a tornado has occurred:
* Check for injuries. Provide first aid if you can until emergency responders arrive (Remember, if it a large event it may take time for emergency personnel to arrive).
* Dial 9-1-1 only if it is an absolute emergency. The lines may be busy do to the volume of calls they are receiving.
* Be mindful of debris that may contain sharp edges or nails.
* Watch out for downed power lines and broken gas lines.
* Stay out of damaged buildings as they may shift under your weight and collapse, trapping or injuring you.
* If you’re away from home, return only when authorities say it’s safe to do so.
* Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when walking around debris.
* If possible, take pictures of the damage to provide to the insurance company.
Finally, cooperate with local authorities. They will be implementing emergency measures to help keep you safe.
If you would like additional information regarding Tornado or other hazards that could impact our area, please contact the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency at 574-936-3740.