Hurricanes, heavy rain and tornadoes happen right here in Maine and throughout the United States.
Here are some tips to keep you safe:
Do not drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots. The average automobile can be swept off the road in just 12 inches of water. Roads covered in water are more likely to collapse. Driving through water can stall your engine leaving you stranded. If you are left with no other route, drive slowly and steadily through the water. Do not drive through water where power lines have fallen. Stay off of your phone unless calling for help. If the vehicle stalls, do not attempt to restart the vehicle as it could cause irreparable damage. If you become stranded, abandon the vehicle for higher ground and call for help.
Build an emergency kit including:
- 3 day supply of water and non-perishable food for each member of the home including pets.
- 3 day supply of medication.
- First aid supplies.
- Personal hygiene items.
- Flashlights, batteries,portable radio.
- Extra cash, important contact numbers, copies of important documents( insurance policies, banking info., etc.).
- Gloves, masks and basic tools.
Create and practice a plan of action for your family:
- Discuss where and how you will seek shelter.
- Make sure everyone knows where the first aid and fire extinguishers are.
- Establish a relative that everyone will check in with.
- Make sure everyone knows where the shut off valves and main switches are in the event of a disaster.
- Stay tuned for weather updates, tornadoes often accompany thunderstorm warnings and the sooner you are aware, the sooner you can get your family to safety.
- Identify the safest area of your home where you can take shelter if a storm hits.
If you are at home during a tornado:
- Go to the lowest level of your home to a room with no windows or the basement if your home has one. If you do not have a basement, go to an inner hallway.
- The center of the room is safest as debris tends to collect in the corners of the room.
- Get under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk.
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
If you are outdoors during a tornado:
- If at all possible, get indoors.
- If there is no shelter, stay low to the ground or lie in a ditch. Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
If you are in your car during a tornado:
- Never try to drive faster than a tornado. Tornadoes can change direction and can lift a car or truck.
- Get out of the car and seek shelter. If there is no time to seek shelter, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low lying area away from the vehicle.
If you are at work or school:
- Avoid areas with a wide span roof such as auditoriums, cafeteria’s, large hallways or shopping malls.
- Go to the basement or inside a hallway on the lowest level.
- Get under a heavy piece of furniture and cover you head and neck.