Severe weather is predicted for today and tomorrow across the Deep South, Tennessee and Ohio valleys. The day could bring severe thunderstorms, heavy rains, flash flooding, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. Showers and thunderstorms will also affect much of the eastern half of the country this week. The American Red Cross is monitoring the weather in case a response is needed and offers safety steps people should follow.
SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY
Visit redcross.org/thunderstorm for full severe weather safety information.
- Watch for storm signs such as darkening skies, lightning flashes and increasing wind. If thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger of lightning.
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning aren’t in the area where it’s raining.
- If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
- Avoid using electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered or hand-crank radios instead.
- Keep away from windows.
- Don’t take a bath or use plumbing.
- If you are driving, try to safely exit the road and park. Stay in your vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
- If you’re outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall or isolated trees and metal objects, such as fences and bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe places to be.
If someone has been struck by lightning, call 911. Anyone who has sustained a lightning strike requires professional medical care. Check the person for burns and other injuries. If the person has stopped breathing, begin CPR. It’s safe to touch people who have been struck by lightning, as they don’t retain an electrical charge.
Visit redcross.org/flood for full flood safety information.
- Turn around, don’t drown! Stay off the roads. If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising around you, get out of the car quickly, move to higher ground and stay there. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Tune into your local radio, NOAA radio or news channels for the latest updates.
- If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, prepare to evacuate quickly if necessary. Follow evacuation orders and don’t return until officials say it is safe.
- Stay away from floodwaters. Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around floodwaters and your home. Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwaters. If power lines are down, don’t step in puddles or standing water.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency app to have safety information right at your fingertips. The Emergency app provides real-time weather alerts and tips on how to stay safe during severe weather, flooding and countless other emergencies. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps.