While we often think of the hazards that severe weather brings during the storm, we often forget the hazards that may be out there after the storm. Emotions are running high after storm damage, so it's always good to refresh on what to do after the storm and some things to avoid.
Tonight's Tip: Staying safe after the storm (Courtesy: National Weather Service)
Once a storm has passed through your area, you'll want to continue listening to your NOAA weather radio, local news, or other reliable severe weather watch and warning devices. This will keep you up to date on the latest information.
If your home has received extensive damage, leave. Only return when it has been determined that it's safe to do so. Be sure to stay out of other damaged buildings, too.
Debris laying on the ground may be sharp and dangerous, so be sure to wear long sleeves, pants, and sturdy shoes. It is especially important to keep an eye out for downed gas and power lines. Use flashlights when moving through these debris fields and not candles to prevent fires.
If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound, it's important to act quickly. Be sure to get everyone away from the area as quickly as possible. Once you have moved a safe distance away, call the gas company or fire department.
Finally, use phones only in the case of an emergency to keep rescue telephone lines free for those who need them.
For additional tornado safety tips, head to the National Weather Service's severe weather safety page: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/severeweather/index.shtml.
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