Being prepared before, and knowing what to do after the storm hits are critical to the safety of those who experience severe weather.

Preparing For The Storm

  • Practice your emergency escape plan; know two ways out of each room of the house.
  • Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Charge cell phones, or other battery-operated devices that can keep you aware of severe weather.
  • Remember that a warning means that severe weather has been reported in the area, while a watch means that conditions are favorable. 

During The Storm

  • Keep the NOAA radio on. If you do not have one, stay tuned to local television or radio news.
  • If you hear the severe weather sirens, head to the basement or a room on the lowest level of the house with no windows immediately. “Most injuries are caused by flying debris, so do whatever possible to find cover,” says Mason.
  • If you see a green colored sky, large hail, a large, dark, low-lying cloud or hear a loud roar that sounds like a freight train take cover immediately.

After the Storm

  • Avoid downed power lines, and items touching these lines.
  • Do not move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Be cautious of exposed nails and broken glass.
  • If it is dark do not use candles or any open flames, use a flashlight.
  • Call 911 immediately if anyone is injured, you see frayed wiring or sparks, the odor of something burning, or a gas odor.

Additional Resources

National Weather Service

NOAA

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY home wiring projects should not be undertaken lightly.

Tabletop or portable fireplaces are increasingly popular. Although these can be an attractive addition to your home, they can be dangerous.

 

In case of fire, know what to do in your home away from home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) from 2006-2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3.700 structure fires per year at hotel or motel properties. These fires caused average annual losses of 12 civilian deaths, 143 civilian injuries, and $127 million in direct property damage each year.

 

 

NFPA Facts & Figures

  • In an average year, one of every 12 hotels or motels reported a structure fire.
  • Smoking materials started 10% of the fires in hotels and motels; these fires caused 79% of the deaths.
  • Only 8% of hotel and motel fires were intentionally set, but these accounted for 12% of the associated property damage.
  • Twelve percent of fires in hotels and motels began in a bedroom; these fires caused 72% of the associated civilian deaths and 31% of civilian injuries.
  • When sprinklers were present and operated, 91% of sprinklers in hotel or motel fires operated effectively when present.

CCFR recommends following these tips from the NFPA

  • Choose a hotel/motel that is protected by both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system.
  • When you check in, ask the front desk what the fire alarm sounds like.
  • When you enter your room, review the escape plan posted.
  • Take the time to find the exits and count the number of doors between your room and the exit.
  • Make sure the exits are unlocked. If they are locked, report it to management right away.
  • Keep your room key by your bed and take it with you if there is a fire. If the alarm sounds, leave right away, closing all doors behind you.
  • Use the stairs—never use elevators during a fire. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.
  • If you can’t escape shut off fans and air conditioners.
  • Stuff wet towels in the crack and around the doors.
  • Call the fire department and let them know your location.
  • Wait at the window and signal with a flashlight or colored cloth.

A video on hotel/motel safety as well as other safety tips are available at nfpa.org.

Space heaters need space. That's a key message from the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA).

Space heaters annually account for one-third of reported U.S. home heating fires, and four out of five associated civilian deaths.

Keep things that can burn at least 3 feet away from space heaters, and create a three-foot "kid-free zone" around them. Make sure to use equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory, and have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.

 

 

 

 

For portable electric heaters:

  • Place them on a solid, flat surface, away from high traffic areas and doorways.
  • Turn them off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Use and purchase heaters with an automatic shut off so if they're tipped over they will shut off.
  • Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
  • Inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections; replace before using.