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Emergency Management and Communications
117 S. Groesbeck, 2nd Floor, Mount Clemens, MI 48043
(586) 469-5270

Public Education

Hazardous Weather

Extreme Cold

Terms:

  • Blizzard Warning: Wind may reach up to 35 miles per hour or greater with snow. This will cause the temperature to be very cold.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning: Below-freezing temperatures are expected.

Prepare:

  • Make sure you have sufficient fuel for cars and generators.
  • Weather-proof doors and windows to trap heat inside your home.
  • Create an Emergency Supply Kit
  • Make sure animals are indoors well before cold weather hits.
  • Insulate pipes with newspaper or plastic to keep them from freezing.

Be Safe:

  • Be sure to eat regularly and drink fluids.
  • Watch for frostbite. Signs include loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes, or face.
  • Watch for cold related illnesses:
    • Hypothermia: Signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
  • If using a heater, make sure the area is well ventilated.
  • If you must go outside, wear protective gear such as hats, mittens, and gloves in addition to a warm coat. Always protect your lungs with a scarf.
  • Change out of wet clothing immediately.
  • Wear several layers of loose fitting clothes.
  • Allow water to drip from your faucets to reduce the chance that they will freeze.

After:

  • Check on elderly and children for any signs of illness due to the cold weather.
  • Refill any supplies used from your preparedness kit.

More Information/Additional Resources:

http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

Extreme Heat

Terms:

  • Heat Wave: Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with humidity.
  • Heat Index: A number in degrees Fahrenheit that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature.

Prepare:

  • Install air conditioning systems or know where the nearest air conditioned public place is located.
  • Check your air conditioning system for proper insulation.
  • Create an Emergency Supply Kit
  • Cover windows that receive sunlight.
  • Keep a large supply of cold water where it is easily accessible.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Listen to local weather forecasts and remain aware of possible upcoming temperature changes.

Be Safe:

  • Watch for heat illnesses:
    • Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. The first signal that your body is having trouble with the heat.
    • Heat Exhaustion: Blood flow to the skin increases, which decreases blood flow to vital organs and creates a form of mild shock. The condition will worsen if it is not treated.
    • Heat Stroke: The body's temperature control system stops working and causes brain damage. Death may result in some instances.
  • Stay indoors and limit sun exposure as much as possible.
  • Spend the warmest part of the day in the air conditioning. If you do not have air conditioning, considering going to a public location or cooling center that does.
  • Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Check on family and friends.
  • Never leave children or pets in closed vehicles.
  • Remember to give you pet extra water and limit their time outdoors.
  • Take frequent breaks from any strenuous work or activity.
  • Plan outdoor activities for the coolest times of the day.
  • Always wear sunscreen. Sunburn limits your body's ability to dissipate heat.

After:

  • Continue to drink water to restore proper hydration.
  • Check on neighbors and family to make sure they are not suffering from a heat related illness.

More Information/Additional Resources:

http://www.ready.gov/heat

Flooding

Terms:

  • Flash floods: The number one weather-related killer in the United States. Many flash flood deaths occur when people drive or walk on roads and bridges that are covered by water. Even six inches of fast moving flood water can knock you off your feet, and a depth of only two feet will float many of today's automobiles.

Prepare:

  • Make an itemized list of personal property well in advance of a flood occurrence.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit containing: first aid kit, canned food and manual can opener, bottled water, extra clothing, rubber boots and gloves, NOAA Weather Alert Radio, battery operated radio, emergency cooking  equipment, flashlight and batteries.
  • If you live in a flood prone area, keep sandbags, plastic sheets and lumber on hand to protect property.  Install check valves in building sewer traps.
  • Know the elevation of your home.
  • Check FEMA Flood Zone map to see if you are in a flood zone.

Be Safe:

During:

  • Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding.
  • Never try to walk or drive your car across flowing water if you are unsure of the water's depth.
  • Keep children away from playing in flooded streets, culverts and storm drains.

After:

  • Refer to local Health Department and Emergency Management press releases for guidance as to boiling water requirements, proper cleaning techniques for personal property and open shelters in your community.
  • Use flashlights, not lanterns or candles to examine your house.  Flammables may be present and loose.
  • Do not enter your home if you are unsure of the status of electricity in the home.  Submerged outlets and live wires make for an extremely dangerous condition.

More Information/Additional Resources:

For information on Flood Insurance offered here in Michigan through the National Flood Insurance Program, link onto www.floodsmart.gov.

For more information regarding Flood threats and preparedness please see the links below.

Ready.gov/floods

Flooding Preparedness Packet

Thunderstorms and Lightning

Terms:

  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch: A severe thunderstorm is likely to occur in your area. Monitor local media and listen to your NOAA weather radio for updates and further information.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: A severe thunderstorm is occurring in the area. Seek shelter immediately.

Prepare:

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall on your home with strong winds.
  • Postpone outdoor activities until the storm has passed.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could be blown around, such as garbage cans and patio furniture.
  • Close all windows and blinds.
  • Charge cell phones and other wireless communication devices.
  • Sign up to receive text or e-mail alerts from your local media, weather provider or the National Weather Service.
  • Plan a way to monitor local weather and news while in shelter.
  • Identify the safest shelter location in your home; it should be on the lowest level, away from windows and doors.
  • Prepare for a power outage.
  • Create an Emergency Supply Kit
  • Purchase surge protectors.

Be Safe:
Signs:

  • Rain
  • Dark Skies
  • Lightning
  • Increased Wind Speed

During:

  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Do not use corded devices, such as house phone or anything that plugs into a wall outlet.
  • Do not complete activities that use water or plumbing, such as laundry and showering.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • If you are outdoors with no place to shelter, seek low level ground that is away from trees and metal objects.
  • If you are traveling by car, pull over and remain in your vehicle until the storm passes.
  • If you are boating or swimming, go to land and seek shelter immediately.

Lightning Safety

If someone is struck by Lightning:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately
  • Check for breathing – if breathing has stopped, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Check for a heartbeat – if the heart has stopped, begin CPR.
  • Check for other injuries, such as broken bones or loss of hearing and eyesight.

Note: It is okay to give first aid without fear of being hurt; the victim will not carry and electrical charge. 
After:

  • Wait 30 minutes before you go outdoors, remain cautious and remember that lightning can strike 10 miles away from a storm.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Monitor weather for other severe storms or any potential flash flooding.
  • Check on elderly and children who may need help.

More Information/Additional Resources:

http://www.ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning

http://www.mcswa.com/

http://www.weather.gov/'The Shocking Truth'

Tornadoes / High Winds

Terms:

  • Tornado Watch:  Tornadoes are possible in your area.
  • Tornado Warning:  A tornado has been sighted in your area. Seek shelter immediately.

Prepare:

  • Identify the safest location in the lowest level of your home.
  • Talk to your family about how you will communicate in the event that you are not at home when a tornado hits.
  • Plan a way to monitor local weather and news while in shelter.
  • Sign up to receive text or email alerts from your local media, weather provider or the National Weather Service.
  • Charge cell phones.
  • Move lawn furniture and outdoor objects-such as trashcans-into the garage.
  • Identify the safest location to shelter and know the building's safety plans if you are at work or school.
  • Prepare for a power outage.
  • Knowing the signs of a tornado.

Be Safe:
Signs:

  • Dark, green-tinted sky
  • Large hail
  • Large, dark, low-lying clouds
  • Loud roar
  • Severe storms
  • Tornadoes usually occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Tornadoes usually occur in the late spring and early summer

During:

  • Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home.
  • Stay away from objects that can easily be blown around.
  • Seek additional shelter under sturdy objects such as tables, couches or stairwells
  • If no basement is available, seek shelter in the most interior room of your house.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Listen to a local media channel or NOAA weather radio for updates.
  • Protect your head from glass and sharp objects.
  • If you are in a car and no shelter is available, pull over and let your surroundings determine your next action to either:
    • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, and cover your head with your hands and a blanket if possible.
    • ​If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit the car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
    • Do not try to out run a tornado in your vehicle.
  • If you are boating, go to land and seek shelter immediately.

After:

  • Inspect your property and motor vehicles for damage. Look for electrical problems and gas leaks.
  • Avoid and report downed power lines.
  • Check on your food supply.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, long sleeves, and gloves when you clean up debris.
  • Check and restock and supplies from your emergency preparedness kit that were used.
  • If you suspect home damage, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks.

More Information/Additional Resources:

http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/SevereWeatherPacketFinal2012_380077_7.pdf