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March is Severe Weather Preparedness Month

March 4, 2019

How can you stay safe?

As winter comes to an end, spring will soon be upon us. This means that severe weather is right around the corner. March is National Severe Weather Preparedness Month, and now is the time to start planning for unpredictable weather. Don’t wait until the forecast to get ready, because it may be too late. Whether it’s lightning, tornadoes or flooding, being prepared can mean all the difference in the world.

Tornadoes can happen at any time and anywhere. They can destroy buildings, flip cars and create deadly flying debris. If you find yourself under a tornado warning, find shelter immediately. Knowing where to go during a tornado warning can save your life.

Flooding claims more lives each year than any other type of severe weather, including tornadoes. Half of those deaths happen when a vehicle is driven into flood water. It only takes six inches of fast moving water to knock over an adult, which is only about ankle-deep. It also only takes 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car. Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Lightning is very dangerous and even though most lightning victims survive, people who are struck often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. The thunderstorms that produce lightning can also create powerful winds and hail. If you are under a thunderstorm warning, it is time to find shelter. Remember, When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Follow these steps and make sure you’re ready before and after severe weather:

1. Stay informed: Monitor the weather by using a weather alert radio, different TV channels or download a weather app on your phone.

2. Prepare yourself and your home: Learn skills that could be useful during an emergency such as CPR or how to use a fire extinguisher. These skills may save a life.

3. Make sure you have an emergency plan: Identify places to seek shelter from severe weather and select at least two places to meet should you get separated from family or friends.

4. Have an emergency supply kit: Severe weather may cause the power to go out for several days. Having a supply kit will allow you to have the items that you will need to outlast an emergency.

For more information on severe weather preparation and other preparedness topics, visit Use the NIU 3D Interactive Map to find shelter locations here on campus and other public safety information.

DeKalb City safety information can be found at the Fire Department and Police Department webpages.

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