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Aug 5, 2015 1:21 PM

Joe Knows: How you can stay safe during thunderstorms


In the past few days, we have witnessed how vulnerable we can be to quick moving thunderstorms and how damaging they can be.

On Sunday in Chicago, a man was killed and several others injured when a tent collapsed at a suburban festival. On Monday, a father and daughter were killed in Lancaster, New Hampshire when 60 mph microburst winds caused a circus tent to collapse. This does not need to happen.

It is the responsibility of any organization or company holding a public event to ensure the safety of those there. Monitoring incoming weather, especially when there is the chance of thunderstorms is critical. In both of these tragic circumstances, Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued at least 10 minutes in advance of the incoming storm. While this is not a lot of time, there needs to be a plan in place to evacuate people if a severe storm is approaching. Having someone who has some weather knowledge and can make the call to evacuate would help.

- But as we have learned time and time again, relying on others for your own personal safety is risky. You are in the best position to take care of your own safety. Knowledge is power! Before you go out for the day, here are a few tips to keep you safe this summer.

- Know the forecast. Be weather-wise. If there is a chance of storms that afternoon, be advised and watch for darkening skies approaching.

- Install a good weather app with interactive radar and alerts so you will be able to be alerted if severe weather is approaching and you will see how far away the storm is from your location. This will give you time to act. These days we all have access to our own personal radars which are right at our finger tips...on our phones!

- Have a plan. Think to yourself, “Where will I go? What will I do if a severe storm arrives?” Be prepared to act quickly and have a safe place to go. A sturdy building is the best, but if you are out in the open.. a car will be your best next option.

- Think ahead. Don’t wait for the last second. At sporting events and concerts where there are thousands of people, a mass exodus with a quick moving storm can be chaotic. Don’t put yourself in these dangerous positions. Safety first.


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