OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, Tuesday, May 28, 2019 — The American Red Cross of Oklahoma wants everyone to know what steps they can take to stay safe if dangerous weather is predicted for their community. Meteorologists are predicting severe weather and high potential for storms and tornadoes this afternoon.
How to Prepare for a Severe Thunderstorm
If You Do Nothing Else
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. The app can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross, texting ‘EMERGENCY’ to 90999, or by going to redcross.org/apps.
- Put together and emergency kit.
- Know your community’s evacuation plan.
- Create a household disaster plan and practice it.
Then, If You Can Do This
- Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible).
- Discuss thunderstorm safety with members of your household. Be aware that a thunderstorm could produce a tornado. Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms along and ahead of cold fronts.
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm. This should be a place where there are no windows, skylights, or glass doors, which could be broken by strong winds or hail and cause damage or injury.
- Learn how to crouch low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees and your head between your knees. Minimize your body’s surface area, and minimize your contact with the ground. Lightning current often enters a victim through the ground rather than by a direct overhead strike.
Additional Steps to Protect Your Home
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm, including things that may be broken or blown away in strong winds.
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed. Strong winds frequently break weak limbs and hurl them at great speed.
- Remove any debris or loose items from around your home and outbuildings and from pastures. Branches and firewood may become missiles in strong winds.
- Protect your animals. Ensure that any outbuildings, pastures, or corrals that house animals are protected in the same way as your home.
- Consider installing permanent shutters to cover windows. Shutters can be closed quickly and provide the safest protection for windows.
- Install lightning rods on your home and on barns or any other building that house animals. Lightning rods will carry the electrical charge of lightning bolts safely to the ground, greatly reducing the chance of a lightning-induced fire.
HELP FOR BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, ORGANIZATIONS The Red Cross Ready Rating™ program helps businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies that can disrupt daily operations. Ready Rating™ offers specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared. It includes a planning tool to help their employees or members know what their roles are in the early hours of an emergency, what their next steps are, and a resource center with tools that help businesses, employees and students develop and practice preparedness plans. More information about this valuable program can be found at readyrating.org.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.