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Newman Navigation Tips for Severe Weather
Famous native Oklahoman, Will Rogers once said, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute…” That’s one of those quotes that brings a knowing smile to Oklahoma residents because it’s often so true. As spring sets in, we can safely anticipate some broad swings in temperatures and the very real possibility of severe weather. Severe weather can be extremely damaging, and at times even deadly. We at Newman Memorial want to make sure you are as safe as possible. Preparation is the key to maximizing safety and minimizing the potential impact of severe weather. The following is a list of tips with information taken from the American Red Cross, FEMA and United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
• Be Weather-Ready: Regularly check the forecast to see if you’re at risk for severe weather. Stay informed about thunderstorm watches and warnings. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed. You can also check www.weather.gov/wrn/ for severe weather.
• Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warnings. Some have sirens and others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents to severe storms. Check with Ellis County Emergency Management and ask about getting signed up with IRIS (Immediate Response Information System) to receive alerts on your mobile phone. Check with your County Emergency Management system if outside Ellis County.
• Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place & related information. Pick a safe room in your home on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
• Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so that everyone knows what to do if a damaging wind, large hail or tornado is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don’t forget pets if time allows.
• Prepare your Home: Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
• Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather. Newman Memorial Hospital offers CPR training to the community.
• Medical Devices: Have a plan for your medical devices in the event of a power loss. Does your device have batteries? How long will it run on batteries? If it doesn’t run on batteries, what is your back-up plan? For a medical device plan, visit http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/Productsand MedicalProcedures/HomeHealthandConsumer/UMC252812.pdf
• Have an Emergency Kit: Your kit should include food, water, battery-powered radio, sanitation and personal hygiene items, medications, flashlight, extra batteries, first aid supplies, copies of personal documents (medication list with pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies), cell phone with chargers, family and emergency contact information and extra cash.
• Electronics & Plumbing during lightning: Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives. Avoid contact with corded phones and electrical equipment during a thunderstorm with lightning. The same is true with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or do dishes or laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
• Generators: Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
For an even more comprehensive list of weather-safety tips, please visit our website at www.newmanmemorialhospital.org and click on the link “Newman Navigation Tips for Severe Weather”.