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Editorial

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Severe Weather Terms You Need to Know

justin brotton - Wednesday, November 09, 2016

While spring may be famous for its severe weather, fall storms can also be a threat to your safety. Stay ‘weather aware’ by understanding these severe weather terms:

 

Significant Weather Advisory – This advisory is normally used for storms with penny sized hail and wind gusts near 50 mph. This is categorized as a ‘near’ severe thunderstorm. Can also be issued to indicate the possibility of severe storms.

 

Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Where conditions are likely to develop a severe thunderstorm. A severe thunderstorm is defined as hail over 1 inch in diameter and/or winds 58 mph or higher.

 

Severe Thunderstorm Warning – A warning that is issued when a severe thunderstorm is imminent. Take cover immediately.

 

Wind Advisory – Includes sustained winds of 31 to 39 mph and/or wind gusts of 46 to 57 mph.

 

Severe Thunderstorm – A storm qualifies as severe when it produces winds over 58 mph, quarter size hail, or a tornado.

 

Flash Flood Watch – Indicates developing or current hydrologic conditions that could include flash flooding in or around the watch area.

 

Flash Flood Warning – Issued when flash flooding is imminent, highly likely, or in progress. If you are in the affected area, you should move to higher ground or evacuate immediately.

 

Tornado Watch – Issued when tornadoes are possible in or near the watch area.

 

Tornado Warning – Where severe rotation has been indicated by Doppler weather radar or has been sighted by spotters. Seek shelter immediately.

 

Tornado Emergency – This warning occurs when a violent tornado is expected to impact a heavily populated area.

 

Education can mean safety when it comes to severe weather. By understanding these terms, you can help keep your family safe from hazardous weather, no matter the season.

 

*Some terms provided by www.weather.gov

 

For more information go to http://www.okcshelters.net
 

Safety Tips for Fall Weather Hazards

justin brotton - Wednesday, November 09, 2016

As leaves start to fall, and the temperature drops, our weather begins its unpredictable shift from hot to cold. This shift can bring a slew of weather related hazards. Depending on the current yearly weather pattern, fall can suffer dry conditions or heavy rains. Dry weather encourages wildfires and can contribute to flooding once intense rains strike. Early snowfalls and ice storms have also been known to occur during the autumn months, catching many people off guard.

But as most Oklahomans know, the most severe threats during fall are tornadoes. Hail, lightning and pouring rain are seasonal occurrences in the southern plains, and tornadoes are a dangerous result of this severe weather. Don’t wait until spring to create your severe weather safety plan. Keep your tornado shelter cleaned and ready throughout the year in case of unexpected tornado outbreaks. Practice your safety plan with your family and keep your emergency weather kits at the ready.

In case of early snow or ice storms, keep a bag of salt in your garage and snow shovel close at hand. Batteries, flashlights and weather radios are all excellent items to have incase lightning strikes cause power outages or for other weather related emergencies. Educate your family on the do’s and don’ts of severe flooding, especially the importance of not driving through deep water. In case of dry conditions, keep a fire extinguisher and a water hose handy.

While most people don’t need to use all their emergency items, it is always a safe bet to be well-prepared. Fall weather can bring unexpected challenges and the best way to stay safe is to be organized, educated and ready for whatever mother nature throws your way.

 

For more information please go to http://www.okcshelters.net
 

Pets and Storms – 3 Important Tips to Keep Your Animals Safe

justin brotton - Wednesday, November 09, 2016

For many people, our pets are family. We understand that their lifespans are shorter than ours, but it is still devastating when we lose a furry family member. When severe storms threaten, our first instinct is to protect ourselves and our children, and rightly so. However, there are many things we can do to make sure that our pets stay safe as well. Follow these three important tips to ensure that your beloved pets survive the storm:

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  • Pets get scared! - Thunderstorms bring a lot of noise and this tends to scare pets, especially dogs. If they are indoor dogs, they are fairly safe and will usually hide beneath a bed or take shelter in your arms. However, outdoor pets can bolt from the safety of their yard. If you know a storm is headed your way, make sure to secure your pet in your garage, or other area where they cannot escape. It is a good idea to secure your fence gate with a deadbolt lock so it will stay shut during high winds.

      • Hail hurts. - If hail is imminent, bring outdoor pets inside. Hail storms usually don’t last long, so be patient while it passes. Possibly give Fido a bone to chew on to keep his mind occupied from the loud noises.
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  • Tornadoes are deadly. – Tornado warnings can set off ‘panic mode’ and it’s easy to forget about our four-legged friends. If you know tornadoes are possible for your area, keep your eyes and ears open for warnings and sirens. Most people have a safety plan for their family, so make sure to include your pets in that plan. If you have a storm shelter, you can practice with Fido on calmer days. Walk your pets down into the shelter with treats as incentives. This allows them to get used to the shelter so when an actual tornado threatens, they are more likely to cooperate. If you have smaller pets, keep their crates handy so they can easily be taken into the shelter.

 

Unfortunately, storms are more than just a nuisance, they can be dangerous. Preparation and practice are the best ways to keep your family and your pets safe.

 

For more information go to http://www.okcshelters.net
 

Lightning Strikes – A Real and Present Danger

justin brotton - Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Beautiful and deadly, lightning is one of nature’s most fascinating wonders. These majestic light shows light up the sky with their intricacy but also carry lethal charges that can wipe out scores of people in one strike. Such high-voltage strikes claim between 55 to 60 lives per year, while also injuring hundreds.

Most strikes occur in open areas such as golf courses, ball parks and fields. Your best bet for safety is to get indoors as quickly as possible. NEVER hide beneath a tree or near metal objects, as these can be dangerous electrical magnets. And don’t be deceived by the distance of a thunderstorm. A storm doesn’t have to be close to present a threat. A bolt of lightning can strike people up to 10 miles away from its storm source, and in rare cases, has been known to strike up to 50 miles away.

If you are in your car during an electrical storm, stay put, the rubber tires can ground a charge and keep you from being injured. However, you should avoid touching anything metal within the car until the storm passes.

If you are in doors, do not bath or shower and avoid anything inherently metal, such as pipes. It is also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of a lightning strike, since dry conditions can prompt fires.

While thunderstorms also bring hail, rain and tornados, keep in mind that lightning is an ever present danger. Educate your family on storm safety and include lightening protection tips in your severe weather plans.

 

For more info go to http://www.okcshelters.net
 





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