Pflugerville Firefighters Remind You to Get Ready for Severe Weather
Flooding: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN
Central Texas is known as a hotbed of flash floods, which are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Most of these deaths occur when drivers try to drive through floodwaters, while others happen when pedestrians try to walk through or near flooded areas. Just six inches of rushing water can knock down an adult, and much less for a child.
It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters. Obey all barricades and warning signs. Many drivers overestimate the strength of their vehicles, and underestimate the water’s strength and depth. Drivers often lose control of their vehicles – including SUVs and pick-up trucks – in just six inches of water, and it only takes 1 to 2 feet of moving water to force a vehicle off the road. Be especially careful when driving or walking at night when it’s much harder to recognize flood dangers. If the forecast calls for heavy or steady rainfall, avoid parking, camping or hiking along creeks, streams, and rivers.
Tornadoes: GET IN, GET DOWN, COVER UP
A tornado WATCH means tornadoes are possible. Remain alert and watch the sky. Get ready. Stay tuned to a weather radio or TV for updates. A tornado WARNING means a tornado has actually been spotted near you or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter now. If you’re driving, never try to hide from a tornado under an overpass. You are safer in a low, flat location. Don’t try to outrun a tornado while driving in a city setting or heavy traffic. Try to get into a safe building. Being inside is safer than being in a car, or near a car that can fly into you.
GET IN! If you are outside, get inside. If you’re already inside, get as far into the middle of the building as possible. Enclose yourself in a closet or interior hallway.
GET DOWN! Try to go underground. If you can’t, get down to the lowest floor/location possible.
COVER UP! Flying/falling debris is a tornado’s #1 killer! Get under a sturdy table. Use bike helmets, coats, pillows, blankets, your arms, etc. to cover your head and body. Put on sturdy shoes.
Lightning: WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS
If you can hear thunder, even a distant rumble, you are in danger and need to immediately get to a safe place. There is no safe place outside in a thunderstorm. Fully enclosed buildings with wiring and plumbing provide the best protection. Sheds, picnic shelters, tents, dug-outs, and covered porches do not protect you from lightning. If a sturdy building is not available, get inside a hard-topped metal vehicle and close the windows. Avoid open areas, tall isolated objects, electrical equipment/wiring, baths and showers, and corded phones (except for emergencies).
Each year, over 55 people are killed by lightning in the U.S., and hundreds of others suffer permanent neurological disabilities. Don’t be fooled by blue skies! Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain. The threat of lightning extends 6-10 miles outward from the base of a thunderstorm cloud. Many lightning deaths occur ahead of storms or after they seemed to pass.