Union Daily Times

Remember to stay weather aware

NORTH CHARLESTON — Spring has just begun, but severe weather is already threatening South Carolina.

In a statement released Monday, the day before the start of spring, the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross reminded South Carolinians to heed the warnings from local meteorologists as severe weather was possible for some areas throughout Monday night and into Tuesday. The press release stated that even if bad weather does not impact the state this week, it’s important for people to use this time to get prepared in the event of a severe weather outbreak. The Red Cross wants to be sure that people are aware of following tips to stay weather aware.

How To Stay Safe

Download Emergency App

People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of thunderstorms, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Thunderstorms

• If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

• As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

• If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces at conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

• If you are inside a home, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

• If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, or tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

Tornadoes

• Identify a safe place in your home where household members and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.

• In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor.

• In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. No mobile home, however it is configured, is safe in a tornado.

Flooding

• Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

• Stay away from floodwaters.

• Turn around, don’t drown. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

• Keep children out of the water.

• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

About The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/SC or @RedCrossSC

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Red Cross issues weather safety tips

Special to The Union Times