Severe weather tips from Mike Bennett

ALBANY, N. Y. — Over the last 20 years,
severe weather in New York State has killed nearly 50 people and caused more
than 250 million dollars in damage. On average, the NWS in Albany issues an
average of 162 severe thunderstorm warnings per year along with 33 flash flood
warnings and 4 tornado warnings. This is why it's important to understand
severe weather and plan accordingly.

A severe thunderstorm is
one that has winds greater than 58mph, and/or hail an inch in diameter or
greater. However, lightning and flash flooding can also be dangerous
consequences of severe storms.

Plan now! Develop a plan
for you and your family at home, school, work, and outdoors. Conduct frequent
drills and know the difference between a watch (conditions are favorable for
severe weather) and a warning (a severe storm/tornado is imminent or occuring).

For a severe
thunderstorm, “when thunder roars, go indoors.” Head toward a sturdy
building or car. Stay away from tall objects like towers, isolated trees, or
telephone poles. If you're out on the water boating or swimming, head to land
and seek shelter immediately.

For a tornado warning,
head indoors and go to the basement or interior room on the lowest level of the
house. Get under something sturdy or cover yourself with a mattress. A vehicle
or mobile home is not a substantial structure in the event of a tornado.

For flash flooding,
“turn around, don't drown.” If water is covering the roadway, don't
try to drive through it. It is difficult to tell just by looking how deep the
water is. It only takes 6″ of fast-moving water to knock you off your
feet, and 2' of it to move any car, SUV, or pick-up. Know evacuation routes and
flood plains.

If you follow these tips
along with common sense, you should have no problem keeping you and your family
safe during severe weather season.

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