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Hurricane Harvey Has Hit the Gulf coast. Could you weather the storm?

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National Safety Council provides tips to stay safe during severe and unpredictable weather

August 2017

The National Safety Council encourages everyone in the path of Hurricane Harvey to keep informed, heed government warnings and stay safe. Because severe weather and natural disasters can occur at any time with devastating effects, an impending storm is a timely reminder to review safety procedures. September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and the National Safety Council is calling on Americans to develop emergency kits and plans in the event of unpredictable, severe weather.

More than 600 people were killed in weather-related incidents in 2015.* In the months of September and October, thunderstorms, high winds and floods are common. Some areas of the country also experience snow and ice as early as October.

NSC advises families to keep an emergency kit at home and in the car. Kits should contain basic needs to sustain a family for at least 72 hours. When putting together an emergency plan, families should practice various methods of evacuation or identify places to seek shelter, make emergency contact lists in case family members become separated and learn how their community alerts residents when severe weather or a natural disaster are imminent. Sample emergency kits and plans can be found at nsc.org/emergencykit.

Tips for staying safe in severe weather include:

  • During thunderstorms and lightning, avoid contact with electrical equipment, cords, metal and water. Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures, open areas, hilltops, the beach or boats.
  • If you are driving in heavy rain, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
  • If there is a tornado in your area, find a place away from windows such as a basement, center hallway, bathroom or closet. Get under something sturdy such as a heavy table, and cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress.
  • If you are driving and see a tornado, stop your vehicle. Lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine or culvert, and shield your head with your hands.

*According to Injury Facts® 2017 edition


About the National Safety Council

The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

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