Red Cross releases severe weather, tornado safety tips

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The American Red Cross has released a list of safety tips for the public in response to the tornado watch issued for Providence County Sunday.

The organization outlined the difference between a tornado watch and warning: a watch occurs when a tornado is possible, while a warning is released when a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon.

Despite the watch only being in effect until 3 p.m., the Red Cross said the flood and tornado tips are useful whenever severe weather happens.

The tips for flooding are as follows:

  • Drivers should stay off roads that are flooding.
  • Residents should be prepared to evacuate and should follow all evacuation orders.
  • Move to higher ground if you are caught in a flooding are.
  • Keep yourself, your family, and your pets away from floodwaters and other hazardous areas, and keep an eye out for snakes, insects, and other animals in floodwaters.
  • Do not eat or drink contaminated food or water.
  • Offer to help those who need it, especially older adults, those without transportation, large families, and people with disabilities.
  • Stay away from powerlines, especially those in water.
  • Do not use gas or electric appliances that have been flooded.
  • Take pictures of personal property damage for insurance purposes.

The tips for tornadoes are:

  • Know the community warning systems in your area, such as sirens.
  • Identify a safe place in your home to shelter, especially a basement, storm cellar, or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • Move or secure items that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Mobile homes are not safe in tornadoes; move into a regular building during a tornado.
  • Watch for tornado danger signs: dark, often greenish clouds, wall clouds, and clouds of debris.
  • Secure pets and keep control of them.
  • Those caught outside should seek shelter indoors, either nearby or driving to one.
  • If caught while driving, pull over and put your vehicle in park, keep your seat belt on and engine running, and protect your head by leaning down below the windows and covering it with hands and a blanket or jacket.
  • Stay away from bridges and highway underpasses.

More information can be found on the Red Cross website.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island