prepared now for severe weather
A WATCH means conditions are favorable and a
WARNING means the severe weather is likely to occur soon!
The news of the Waterfront Restaurant in Cincinnati floating down
the Ohio River Friday evening, March 11 is a poignant reminder
of the power of Mother Nature.
The rising waters of the mighty Ohio River, due to higher than
usual amounts of rainfall, was the indirect cause of the restaurant
breaking loose from its moored position with more than 100 people
inside. The restaurant was literally floating, coming to rest
on a bridge post with everyone inside being able to be safely
evacuated. The outcome could have been much different.
While Ripley County is not situated directly bordering the Ohio
River, it does have challenges when it comes to excessive rainfall.
Flooding is a problem in many areas, particularly in Friendship.
The county is not only susceptible to flash floods and flooding,
but spring-summer thunderstorms, which can produce large hail,
lightning and strong winds.
Spring brings days of sunshine and flowers, but can be deadly
with tornadoes always a possibility. This year marks 46 years
since the worst tornado outbreak in Indiana history on Palm Sunday
Straight line winds also wreak havoc on property and are often
confused with a tornado because of the damage left behind.
As Governor Mitch Daniels has declared this week Severe Weather
Preparedness Week, agencies are tweaking their systems and testing
sirens to make sure they are working properly.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has released some
tips to help keep people as safe as possible during a time of
severe weather. You can be informed, make a plan, create a disaster
kit, and get involved.
You will need a three-day supply of water and food for each person
in your household.
A gallon of water per day for each person.
Store in clean, plastic containers.
The higher the temperature, the more water may be needed.
Food could consist of:
Dry cereal and dry milk.
These items should be customized for your family.
disaster aid kit should contain:
Eye wash and contact solution
Over the counter medication
Prescription medication (at least for one week)
Other items needed:
Battery operated or hand crank flashlight and radio
List of emergency phone numbers
Whistle to signal for help
Put all the items in a plastic tote in an easy access place so
its ready at a moments notice.
Make a plan.
Every family needs to make a plan customized for their own needs.
You should include in your plan meeting locations and emergency
phone numbers to call and make sure everyone in your family understands
your plans. You should also practice them frequently.
Know the difference between a thunderstorm warning and a watch.
The same goes for a tornado and flood.
Before severe weather strikes there are some things you can do
to minimize your chances of being hurt:
keep trees trimmed to avoid falling onto buildings, cars
If hail or strong winds are reported, park your vehicle
under a shelter to avoid damage.
Contact your insurance provider if you are in a flood plain.
If in a flood plain, put hot water heaters, electrical
panels, and furnaces away from the ground.
Have basements waterproofed.
If flooding is possible, try to create a barrier between
your house and the water.
Lightning is the visible discharge of electrical energy. It is
often accompanied by thunder, which is a sonic boom created by
the same discharge. According to information from the Indiana
Department of Homeland Security, if you hear thunder, lightning
is a threat.
If lightning occurs avoid water, high ground, large open areas,
isolated trees, and all metal objects and electrical wires.
When indoors avoid water, doors and windows, and do not use electrical
Do not participate in any outdoor activities for at least 30 minutes
after lightning has been seen.
When flooding occurs:
During a flood you should do the obvious and get to higher ground
if possible. Evacuate your house if flooding is possible. Know
your town and make sure you know alternate escape routes in case
one is blocked. Take pets with you, but remember many shelters
do not allow pets inside due to sanitary conditions.
DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE THROUGH WATER.
As little as two feet can cause most cars to float, and as little
as a few inches of moving water can wash most cars away with the
Do not try to cross moving water on foot.
Stay informed. Watch TV or listen to the radio to find out what
actions to take next. Flooding is the most common natural disaster
in the United States. It can develop over the course of a few
weeks or can happen quickly.
During a tornado, basements, inner rooms, and storm cellars provide
the best protection. If you live in a mobile home, get out immediately.
Take shelter in a building with a strong foundation such as a
designated safe place within the county.
If you are in your vehicle, get out and go into a strong building
if possible. If you cannot get to a building, lie in a flat ditch
or low area and cover your head. Do NOT go under overpasses. Wind
speeds increase and can cause serious injuries.
After the tornado has passed, caution should still be taken. You
should stay out of damaged buildings. Stay away from downed power
lines and be aware of possible water, gas or oil leaks. Look for
and help others who could be trapped.
For more information on severe weather safety you can visit
the IDHS web site at: www.in.gov/dhs.