Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
800 AM EST WED MAR 4 2015

Severe Weather Preparedness Week in North Carolina is March 1-7,
2015 Today`s Topic:  Staying safe when high winds...hail...and
tornadoes strike

When your area is under a tornado warning...or if you see a tornado
approaching...you should seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries
associated with high winds are from flying debris...so remember to
protect your head. The following are safety tips for seeking shelter
during high winds and tornadoes.

If you are in a structure such as a residence...small
building...school...nursing
home...hospital...factory...shopping center...or high-rise building:

1. Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe
room...basement...storm cellar...or the lowest building level. If
there is no basement...go to the center of a small interior room on
the lowest level (such as a closet...bathroom...or interior hallway)
away from corners...windows...doors...and outside walls. Put as many
walls as possible between you and the outside.  Get under a sturdy
table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

2.  In a high-rise building...go to a small interior room or hallway
on the lowest floor possible.

3.  Do not open windows.

If you are in a manufactured home or office:

1.  Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as
the lowest floor of a sturdy...nearby building or a storm shelter.
Mobile homes...even if tied down...offer little protection from
tornadoes.

If you are outside with no shelter available...there is no single
research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take...because
many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:

1. Immediately get into a vehicle...buckle your seat belt and try to
drive to the closest sturdy shelter.  If your vehicle is hit by
flying debris while you are driving...pull over and park and cover
your head with your arms and a blanket...coat or other cushion if
possible.

2.Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and
cover your head with your arms and a blanket...coat or other cushion
if possible.

3. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low...flat
location.

4. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a
car or truck. Instead...leave the vehicle immediately for safe
shelter.

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has a web site
devoted to tornado preparedness tips for school administrators. All
school officials and administrators are encouraged to visit this web
site to Learn more about how they can prepare a tornado safety plan
for their school.  That web site is
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/school.html.

While hail and straight-line winds generally do not garner the same
attention or respect as tornadoes...they can be just as deadly! Hail
can exceed the size of softballs and fall at speeds of over 100
mph...seriously injuring or killing anyone in its path. Straight-
line winds can topple trees onto cars... houses...and power lines.
Many deaths from straight-line winds are the result of trees falling
onto the person...whether they are outside...in their house...or
driving in their car.  Strong straight-line wind events can even
destroy buildings...especially mobile homes and manufactured homes.

When damaging straight-line thunderstorm winds or large hail is
expected...the National Weather Service will issue a Severe
Thunderstorm Warning.  When a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued
for your Area...or when threatening thunderstorms approach your
area...you should seek shelter immediately!  To stay safe during
high winds...the same safety rules that are used for tornadoes also
apply during straight-line wind events...namely...you should seek
shelter in an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building
or shelter...get away from windows...and get down low to protect
yourself from possible flying debris and falling trees.  During
large hail situations... you should move indoors and stay away from
windows. Wind-blown hail can shatter windows.  If you are driving
during a large hail episode...pull over into a parking lot or gas
station and use blankets or coats to cover yourself in case the
windshield shatters and hail enters the vehicle.

Be sure to take some time this week to learn more about severe
weather safety. Learning and practicing severe weather safety when
the weather is good will allow you to react more quickly when the
weather turns bad.  You can learn more about severe weather safety
by visiting the North Carolina Department of Public Safety
preparedness website at readync.org.  This web page features an
abundance of information...and links to a free cell phone app...that
will help you plan and prepare for the severe weather season.

$$


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