News Flash

Fire Carousel

Posted on: March 3, 2020

Severe Weather Safety

Carbondale Severe Weather

Believe it or not, warmer weather has arrived! As exciting as that sounds, warmer temperatures also mean an increased potential for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding. 

Before Severe Weather

  • Review your family emergency plan with your family so everyone knows what they should do.
  • Stock your emergency kit fully and make sure your family knows where it is. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days (72 hours).
  • Establish a safe zone in your home and place of work (preferably in the basement or in a small interior room or hallway). Make sure everyone knows where to go for shelter.
  • Have an all hazards weather radio with battery backup. These radios can be programmed to receive alerts for specified counties to keep you and your family apprised of impending weather and post-event information for all types of hazards.
  • Download the free FEMA mobile app that provides fast and reliable weather alerts from the NWS. The app can be tailored to offer alerts nationwide and can also help you locate open shelters and disaster resource centers near you in the event of an emergency.
  • Like us on Facebook at Carbondale Office of Emergency Management, and follow us on Twitter at @CarbondaleEMA for local notifications. 
  • Monitor weather forecasts before you go on a trip or spend an extended period of time outdoors.

When a Storm Approaches

  • Listen to a battery-powered all hazards weather radio or local radio or television stations for updated information.
  • Be alert to rapidly-changing weather conditions. Watch for signs of a possible tornado:
  • A dark, often greenish sky
  • A wall cloud, particularly if it is rotating
  • Large hail, which is often produced by the same storms that produce tornadoes
  • A loud roar, similar to the sound of a freight train
  • Tornadoes may occur and be visible near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm
  • Tornadoes may also be embedded in rain and not visible
  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using a landline telephone or any electrical appliances.
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job.
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.
  • Go to your pre-identified safe zone to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. If possible, seek shelter under a piece of large, sturdy furniture, such as a large table or workbench, to protect from falling debris or flying objects. Stay away from windows. Do not open them.

If Caught Outside

  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately!
  • If you are in the woods, go to a safe building. Make sure it is fully enclosed with a roof and four walls. Tents, shelters, pavilions, or dugouts will not keep you safe.
  • If you cannot get to a safe building, get in a safe, hard-topped vehicle. Roll up the windows, close the doors and avoid all metal surfaces.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!
  • Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects. If you’re caught in the open, lightning often hits the tallest object which could be you in an open field. 
  • Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
  • Get low to the ground, on the balls of your feet in a crouching position. The goal is to get as low as possible, while minimizing your contact with the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground - this will make you a larger target!
  • Remain in your safe zone or shelter until the storm has passed. Stay alert for new storms that may follow.

After the Severe Weather Passes

  • Continue listening to your weather radio and local radio and television stations for updated information.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas. Access any damage to your home or immediate surroundings. Be aware of any potential hazards such as ruptured gas lines, structural damage to your home, downed electrical lines, and localized flooding.
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
  • Never try to walk, swim, drive, or play in flood water. You may not be able to see how fast the flood water is moving or see holes or submerged debris.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
  • Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go another way!
  • Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants sweeping them away. Vehicles can be swept away by as little as 2 feet of water.
  • Children should NEVER play around high water, storm drains, viaducts, or arroyos. It is very easy to be swept away by fast-moving water.
  • If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankle, STOP! Turn around and go another way. Climb to higher ground. If it’s moving swiftly, even water 6 inches deep can knock you off your feet. Many people are swept away wading through flood waters, resulting in injury or death.

This information brought to you by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the City of Carbondale Office of Emergency Management. For more information on severe weather, please contact the City of Carbondale Office of Emergency Management at 457-3245.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Fire Carousel

Gas Pump Safety

Gasoline Safety

Posted on: March 31, 2020

Spring Weather Safety

Posted on: March 30, 2020
Fire Station No 2

Tour of Carbondale Fire Station #2

Posted on: March 30, 2020