Severe Storm Safety

As Hurricane Matthew makes its way through the Caribbean this week, we want to remind everyone of the dangers of severe storms that can occur in North Texas as well. Though we don’t necessarily have hurricanes pass through this part of the country, we do regularly have deadly tornadoes that can occur throughout the year.

Severe storms form when warm wind currents intertwine with cool wind currents. This can cause violent winds to develop, which can also ultimately spawn a tornado. When tornadoes form, they can present danger to the health of you and your family, so it is important to know some basic procedures to maximize the safety of your family if a tornado strikes.

First, it is important to understand the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch indicates that there is a possibility of a tornado occurring in your area. It essentially means that you should keep an eye out for any dangerous-looking cloud formations such as funnel clouds. A tornado warning indicates that either the national weather service has detected a tornado in your area, or a sighting has occurred. This means that you should take cover immediately.

Taking cover can mean one of two things: 1. If you are outside, find a ditch to put yourself in and duck and cover. 2. If you are indoors, find a safe room. Though homes in North Texas do not normally come with cellars or storm shelters, many do have safer rooms than others within the house. These rooms typically have four walls without any windows present. Be sure to make sure this room does not have many loose articles that can act as debris that can cause bodily harm. If you hear a tornado siren go off, be sure that you and your family have rehearsed going to this room. If you can, find something to block the doorway that can act as a sort of shield from flying objects. A mattress is ideal to use as a form of protection. It is big enough to cover multiple people, strong enough to withstand physical strikes, and soft enough so that it doesn’t cause any harm to your family. Just like that procedure if you happen to be outside during the chaos, duck and cover. Cover your neck and head at all costs and be sure to teach your children this procedure as well.

Keep these tips in mind in case any severe storms make their way through your neighborhood. Also, keep the Caribbean countries that are in the way of Hurricane Matthew in your thoughts. Remember, our number one priority is family health. We wish all the safety to those in the Caribbean.