Citizens Encouraged to Practice Tornado Preparedness Measures
As severe storms track through Campbell County this evening (Friday, June 1), residents are reminded that these weather systems can produce high winds, hail, flooding, and potentially tornadic activity, if conditions are right. Thus, keeping the following emergency supplies on-hand is very important:
- three-day supply of water (three gallons per person) and non-perishable foods;
- battery-operated NOAA radios, flashlights, extra batteries, basic tools/manual can openers, fully charged cells phones, first-aid supplies, prescription medicines, sanitation supplies, pet food, cash and adequate fuel for vehicles, generators and other equipment. NOTE: If necessary to use a generator, check that sufficient ventilation is present.
As a general safety practice, citizens should always take a moment to determine the best place to shelter in case of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, not only at home, but also if traveling or visiting government buildings, hospitals, restaurants, malls, theme parks, worship services, or social gatherings/events. Be aware that excess precipitation generated by storms can cause flooding or mud flows on roadways if drainage systems become clogged with debris.
Always assume downed power lines are live. Do not cross roadways flooded with water.
Severe Weather Warnings:
A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to occur, with some possessing the potential of spawning a tornado. A tornado warning is an alert that indicates a tornado is either currently in progress or is imminent, based on radar. If a tornado warning is issued, citizens should take cover immediately.
When a tornado warning is issued, citizens should:
- Go to a pre-designated shelter area, such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If no basement is present on the premises, go to the center of an interior space on the lowest level.
- Select a spot away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls or seek shelter under a sturdy table. Assume a crouched/kneeling position and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
Residents are also reminded to review the following steps for tornado safety if outside or in a vehicle:
- Evacuate the vehicle immediately and seek shelter at the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter.
If no shelter is available, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression; cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
- Do not seek shelter under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
- Never try to outrun a tornado; instead, leave the vehicle immediately to seek safer shelter.
- Watch for flying debris; wind-tossed objects cause the most tornado-related fatalities and injuries.
Officials also recommend that citizens create a family emergency action plan and an emergency contact list that notes phone numbers of family members, neighbors, physicians, and other primary contacts; it is suggested that copies be provided to family members as well as stored with emergency kits and in vehicles. An on-line emergency plan template is available by clicking here.
Campbell County Department of Public Safety has compiled the following resources to inform citizens on safety measures should a tornado warning occur in our area. Citizens are encouraged to practice these steps at home and at work. Residents are also reminded to take note of the safest place to shelter when traveling or visiting: shopping areas/malls, medical facilities, public/government buildings, places of worship, and recreational sites (ball fields, stadiums, theaters, theme parks, etc.).
The following resources convey precautionary measures for severe weather/tornado occurrences:
Tornado Preparedness Educational Slides
Tornado Preparedness Press Release
All-Hazards Emergency Preparedness Information
As Campbell County takes an all-hazards approach to preparedness, citizens are encouraged to take precautions for not only severe weather, but likewise for any emergencies that may arise. Strong winds, heavy precipitation, flash flooding, possible power outages and other incidents may occur at any time throughout the year.
Below are documents released by Campbell County Public Safety with safety suggestions for preparing for natural incidents and other emergencies, what to do during emergencies, and other related information.
Keeping Healthy During Flu Season
Fire Safety for All Seasons
Severe Weather Preparedness and Safety
Flood Preparedness and Safety
Earthquake Preparedness and Safety
Citizens Encouraged to Take Preparedness Measures for Natural Incidents and Other Emergencies
2010 Campbell County Emergency Operations Plan
Previous press releases:
Press Release (08/25/11) - Citizens Reminded of Basic Earthquake Preparedness and Safety Tips
Press Release (08/23/11) - Citizens Reminded to Prepare for Potential Weather-Related Emergencies
Additional Emergency Preparedness Resources
For additional information on emergency preparedness measures or to obtain safety resources, please visit the following websites:
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
National Weather Service - Blacksburg