The 4 things you need to know to stay S.A.F.E. in Extreme Weather
The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the tornados are howling through the streets.
It must be April! While most think of April as the turning point toward warm breezes and lush gardens, it also marks the beginning of severe weather season. Flooding, hail, tornados, and thunderstorms tend to wreak the most havoc during this time, leaving trails of debris and loss.
The cost of extreme weather events ballooned to over $300 billion in 2017* and, while the reach of these events previously seemed relegated to the south, that too has expanded. This spring season temperatures are predicted to be above average in the south and below average in the north creating a broader scope for extreme weather activity. Already this year the US has experienced historic floods and mudslides in Hawaii, wildfires in Oklahoma, and fatal tornadoes in North Carolina.
For our lone workers, weather conditions like this can introduce several environmental and social risks: being stranded in the field or with a client, having their vehicle compromised by weather, and increased stress for employees as their ability to do their job becomes uncertain. While we can’t control the weather, we can control our preparation and reaction.
What can you do if you find yourself in a situation of extreme weather? Stay S.A.F.E.:
• Seek Shelter – the safest place to be is indoors. When you find out a storm or tornado is approaching, get inside early. Don’t wait until the weather has arrived and never try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle.
• Away from windows and doors – head to the basement or the most internal room of the building. High winds can break windows and send debris flying in.. Put as many walls between you and the outdoors as possible. It may even be useful to get in the bathtub.
• Follow storm updates – ideally, you want to use a radio for this. Stay informed on tornado watches and warning, road closures, and where the storm is headed.
• Execute your plan – you always want to have a plan in place for severe weather. Make sure you have adequate water, food, flashlights, batteries, a backup cell phone charger, blankets, and a first aid kit.
If you’re out on the road, stay up to the minute on weather conditions and give yourself time to find shelter. If you do find yourself alone and in difficult conditions, you can instantly connect to the Monitoring Center by pressing the “Red Alert” button on your SoloProtect ID. Your GPS enabled device will let the Monitoring Center know where you are and they can send help immediately.
Be informed, reduce risk, and stay S.A.F.E.