Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April in a Nutshell

April Showers Bring May Flowers and a Whole Lot of Severe Weather, Too

By Squiggy the Squirrel

Even though I'm a squirrel, I consider myself a bit of a "book worm" since I love to read. When I was thinking about what tips I wanted to provide you all this month, I thought of T.S. Eliot's famous poem, The Waste Land, that begins with the line, "April is the cruelest month." I can't help but think that Mr. Eliot was referring to the varying and often dangerous weather that comes this time of year as spring is in full bloom. As many of you have experienced firsthand (remember that snow on April 15th?!), spring weather can be mighty unpredictable. 

Being prepared and knowledgeable about these storms is critical. Probably the biggest threat this time of year comes from thunderstorms that can also bring lightening, tornadoes, and flooding. 

Spring Storm Fast Facts:
  • Lightening kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes
  • About 10% of thunderstorms are considered severe (meaning they produce hail of at least 1 inch in diameter or have wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour)
  • Lightening often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall

Storm Preparedness:

  • Download an app so that you can stay informed wherever you are. The Red Cross has A LOT of great apps to choose from for specific emergencies. Two other apps that I recommend are The Weather Channel and AccuWeather apps. 
  • Talk to your family about where the safest place is in your home for you all to go if a serious storm hits. This should be a place away from windows, skylights, and glass doors that could be broken. If you have a basement, that's probably your best option.
  • Put together an emergency preparedness kit and learn more about what should go inside your kit.

During a Storm:
  • Stay indoors. If you're outside and a sever thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a secure building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Also, remember to bring your pets inside, too. 
  • Stay alert and informed. Listen to the local news and/or check the apps I mentioned above for updates.
  • Avoid electrical equipment and postpone taking a shower or bath until the storm is over. 
After a Storm:
  • Never drive through a flooded road. You never know how deep the water really is, so it's best to turn around and find another route. 
  • Help people in need. After a storm, check in on elderly neighbors or friends with young children. 
  • Stay away from downed power lines. If you see a downed power line don't touch it or any wire near it. Call 911 or the local power company to notify them immediately. 

I hope that you won't have to use these tips and that our spring is filled with sunshine. Nevertheless, it's always good to be prepared. Share the above with family and friends and take time to learn more about spring storm preparedness

Happy spring!


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