Situations Requiring Preparation
Cold Weather Precautions
- Check on loved ones and neighbors, especially those in fragile health, preferably by telephone. Pay particular attention to older neighbors who may be outdoors attempting to shovel snow or engaged in some other activity.
- Hydrate - Drinks with caffeine, sugar and alcohol take longer for your body to absorb. Water is usually the best choice.
- People should be aware of the amount and intensity of their physical activity, both indoors and out. Cold weather puts additional strain on the body, especially the heart.
- If you have to go outside, wear appropriate clothing that will adequately insulate you from the cold and provide protection from the wind.
- Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. Temperatures in vehicles can drop rapidly.
- Check heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas.
- Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that kills more than 500 Americans every year.
- Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, and garage or near a window. Be sure to have installed a carbon monoxide detector in your home to alert you and your family to this "silent killer."
Did you know that flooding causes more deaths than any other weather hazard? People underestimate the force and power of water.
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.
Urban areas are especially prone to flash floods due to the large amounts of concrete and asphalt surfaces that do not allow water to penetrate into the soil easily.
At any given moment, nearly 1,800 thunderstorms are in progress over the face of the earth, and lightning strikes the earth 100 times a second. On average, the United States gets 100,000 thunderstorms each year. Lightning is a major threat during a thunderstorm. In the United States, between 75 and 100 Americans are hit and killed each year by lightning. Thunderstorms can also bring heavy rains, strong winds, hail, and tornadoes.
What is lightning? Lightning is an electrical discharge that results from the buildup of positive and negative charges within a thunderstorm. When the buildup becomes strong enough, lightning appears as a “bolt”. This flash of light occurs within clouds or between the clouds and the ground A bolt of lightning reaches a temperature approaching 50,0000 F in a split second. The rapid heating and cooling of air near the lightning causes thunder.
Myth- Lightning never strikes in the same place. Fact- Lightning will strike several times in the same place in the course of one discharge.
Some thunderstorms can be seen approaching, while others hit without warning. Lightning can strike from storms ten or more miles away. Lightning has been known to come from a clear blue sky, “a bolt out of the blue”. It is important to learn and recognize the danger signs and plan ahead. Normally thunderstorms contain dark, towering or threatening clouds. You may hear distant thunder and lightning. Because light travels much faster than sound, lightning flashes can be seen long before the resulting thunder is heard.
Estimate the number of miles you are from a thunderstorm by counting the number of seconds between a flash and the next clap of thunder. Divide this number by five.
Important-You are in danger from lightning if you can hear thunder. Knowing how far away a storm is does not mean that you’re in danger only when the storm is overhead.
What does a severe thunderstorm watch and warning mean? A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the National Weather Service when the weather conditions are such that a severe thunderstorm (damaging winds 58 miles per hour or more, hail three-fourths in diameter or greater) is likely to develop. This is the time to locate a safe place in the home and tell family members to watch the sky and listen to the radio or television for more information. A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. At this point, the danger is very serious and everyone should go to a safe place, turn on a battery-operated radio or television, and wait for the “all clear” by the authorities.
Have disaster supplies on hand:
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
• First aid kit and manual
• Emergency food and water
• Nonelectric can opener
• Essential medicines
• Cash and credit cards
• Sturdy shoes
What can you do during a thunderstorm?
• Secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture that could blow away or cause damage or injury. Take light objects inside.
• Listen to battery operated radio or television for the latest storm information.
• Do not handle any electrical equipment or telephones because lightning could follow the wire. Television sets are particularly dangerous at this time.
• Avoid bathtubs, water faucets, and sinks because metal pipes can transmit electricity.
• Attempt to get into a building or car.
• If no structure is available, get to an open space and squat low to the ground as quickly as possible. If in the woods, find an area protected by a low clump of trees. Never stand underneath a single large tree in the open. Be aware of the potential for flooding in low-lying areas.
• Crouch with hands and knees.
• Avoid tall structures such as towers, tall trees, fences, telephone lines, or power lines.
• Stay away from natural lightning rods such as golf clubs, tractors, fishing rods, bicycles, or camping equipment.
• Stay away from rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water.
• If you are isolated in a level field or prairie and you feel your hair stand on end (which indicates that lightning is about to strike), bend forward, putting your hands on your knees. A position with feet together and crouching while removing all metal objects is recommended. Do not lie flat on the ground.
Develop an emergency plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a storm have a plan for getting back together. Make sure all family members know how to respond after a thunderstorm. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity and water. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 and which radio station to tune for emergency information.
Steady Siren Tone For 3 Minutes = Take Cover!
This sound indicates either: 1) a Tornado Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service or 2) a confirmed sighting of a tornado or funnel cloud within the Elk Grove Village area by a trained spotter.
The sirens are sounded primarily to alert people who are outdoors to seek cover. If there is no way to find immediate shelter, lie flat, face down, in a ditch or low area, and cover your head until the tornado passes.
If you are already indoors, you may not even be able to hear the sirens. During thunderstorms, be aware of conditions outside and stay tuned to your radio or television if the weather appears to be threatening.
Go to the basement or lowest level of the building. Move to an interior room and stay away from outside walls, windows, and doors.
Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, and cafeterias.
Have a battery-operated radio and flashlight with you as power failures often occur during severe weather.
If you hear the sirens again, it is because of an additional sighting and warning. Seek shelter again!
There will be no "All Clear" siren signal. Please do not call 9-1-1 for siren information. Emergency personnel will be busy preparing for rescue operations once it is safe to go outside.
For more information on tornadoes and how to prepare in advance for severe weather visit the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov.
Make sure you have a "Go Bag" ready with anything you might need to keep your pet comfortable and healthy in the event of an emergency where you would have to temporarily leave your home. This includes: a blanket, leash, food, water, and medicine.
Camping can be fun and provide a lot of adventure. But you need to mindful about the dangers of the outdoors to ensure the safety of everyone in your group. This information is also helpful even for spending time in your own backyard or garden.
Tents can be easily ignited by a flame source such as candles, fuel fire stoves, lanterns (such as kerosene lanterns), or sparks from a campfire. Make sure tents are placed at a safe distance from campfires. Purchase flame-retardant tents whenever possible and always extinguish a campfire and other flames before you go to sleep.
Aside from causing itching, pain, redness, and swelling, many insects can also spread a number of diseases. When outside for long periods of time, cover your skin and avoid scented products which, attract bugs. Use insect repellent and if you are out at dusk or dawn, make sure to wear long sleeves and long pants.
Poison Oak and Ivy
Contact with one of these plants can cause itching and uncomfortableness that lasts for weeks. The culprit is urushiol, the toxic substance that causes the reaction. This oil can be found on every part of the plants. The skin reaction usually develops 12 to 48 hours after exposure. If you know you have come in contact with one of these plants, immediately rinse your skin with rubbing alcohol or dishwashing detergent. Apply wet compresses, calamine lotion, or hydrocortisone cream to the skin to reduce itching and blistering.