June 08, 2012

 

We have officially entered beginning of hurricane season. That means it’s time to check your supplies, replace batteries, and review evacuation plans. This year, meteorologists predict that the U.S. Coastline has a 42% chance of being hit with a major category 3-5 hurricane.

 

2011 was the third-highest year for storm activity since 1851 with 19 total, including Hurricane Irene. Although 2012 is anticipated to be less active than last year, preparation for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted is critical. 

 

 

 

Do you know if your home is located in a Hurricane Evacuation Zone? 

 

 

 

Sources: CSU and  AccuWeather.com

 

 


May 10, 2012

Just because the tornado has cleared, doesn't mean you’re out of danger. Damaged power lines mean risk of electrocution and fire, and damage and debris create hazards everywhere you step.  For these reasons, using extreme caution post-tornado is equally as important as before and during the storm. 

 

 

Stay Safe Post-Tornado:

 

  • Check for injuries, but do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury
  • If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location
  • Continue to monitor your radio and/or television for emergency information
  • If going outdoors, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and beware of broken glass and nails. 
  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with them
  • If you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosion
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open all windows and leave the house immediately. Notify the gas company, or the police or fire departments.*

 

 

Did you know?


50% of tornado-related injuries occur after the storm is gone. 


The hazardous conditions following a tornado can be just as dangerous as the storm itself, and trying to clean up on your own can result in serious injury and further damage to your home. Storm damage recovery professionals, like Blackmon Mooring, can clean and restore your home safely, so that no one gets hurt. 

 

 

 

 

*Sources:  Federal Emergency Management Agency 

 


May 03, 2012

You’re in your backyard, and all of a sudden the sky becomes dark and greenish. Large hail begins to fall and you see wall clouds – an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm on the horizon.  You tune into the news and find out that there is a tornado warning. 

 


During A Tornado:

 

• Do not wait until you see a tornado. The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or  a prepared safe room.

 

• If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.

 

• Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.

 

• Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home.

 

• If you have access to a sturdy shelter or a vehicle, abandon your mobile home immediately.

 

•Go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately, using your seat belt if driving.

 

Still working on preparing your safe room? 

Plans to provide better protection can be found on the FEMA website.

 

Did You Know?

Don’t waste valuable time trying to open all the windows in the house during a tornado – the idea that it can save your home is a myth.  Head straight to your safe room, instead!

*Source: American Red Cross 

 


April 27, 2012

 

 

If a tornado struck right now, would you be ready?

 

Tornadoes often strike with little to no warning. For this reason, knowledge, preparation and practice before a tornado ever strikes are the keys to minimizing injury and damage. Review the checklist below: how prepared are you?

 

Before a Tornado:

 

 

  • Have a plan of what you will do and where you will go if a tornado strikes.

  • Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado.

  • Have an emergency kit with enough food, water, and supplies and a radio.

  • Practice periodic tornado drills.

  • Know your community's warning system. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornadoes, with many having sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes.

  • Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees that can cause damage and injury in high winds.

 

 

Did you know?

 

A tornado watch means that tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area.

 

A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.

 

 

 

*Sources: American Red Cross  & Federal Emergency Management Agency 

 

 

 

 


April 20, 2012

 

 Tornado Season is Here: Are You Cyclone-Safe? (Part One)



Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.*


Just this month, a record twelve tornadoes touched down in North Texas with little warning, injuring 10 people and causing considerable damage. Days later, storms and tornadoes ripped though the northwest Oklahoma town of Woodward, destroying more than 100 homes and businesses.


With Tornado Season upon us, it is crucial that we be prepared and stay informed. Stay tuned, our next post will discuss what you and your family can do before a tornado to get ready.


Did You Know?

  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time.
  • Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
  • They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph.
  • Tornadoes can form over water, creating what is called a Waterspout.*

 



*Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency 

 


February 22, 2012

February 19th through the 25th is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Texas and Oklahoma. Considering forecasters are predicting that 2012 will be a very active season for severe weather, the awareness week could not have come at a better time.

2012 is predicted to bring above-average severe weather to "Tornado Alley", in addition to states further east such as the mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valleys.  Severe weather is caused by warm, humid air moving up from the Gulf of Mexico and clashing with the drier, cooler air from the Rockies. However, because of a significantly strong La Niña in 2011, severe weather was pushed east of the traditional "Tornado Valley". La Niña is a phenomenon where temperatures of the ocean in the Equatorial Pacific are significantly cooler than normal. When this happens, the Pacific Jet Stream across the United States becomes stronger. Stronger jet stream means stronger streams of cool, dry air from the Rockies mixing with Gulf air that trigger more severe weather.

This year, La Niña is weakening and should return to normal levels by April.  However, there is evidence that the air coming from the Gulf is warmer and more humid than normal.  Therefore, the prediction is that the areas typically affected by severe weather that got a somewhat of a break in terms of number of storms last year such as Northern Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas should see an increase in severe weather this year. While, forecasters say that is it unlikely that the exact same areas of the Deep South will be hit struck by tragic tornadoes as they were in 2011, there could still be damaging thunderstorms in the Gulf states this year. According to AccuWeather.com, they are predicting severe weather to hit Texas and other Gulf states as early as March. By April, severe weather will begin to travel north into the lower Ohio and mid-Mississippi valleys. However, as these are simply predictions, it would be unwise to assume that severe weather will not occur in many areas of the country.

Facts about Thunderstorms

  • They may occur singly, in clusters or in lines.
  • Some of the most severe occur when a single thunderstorm effects one location for an extended time.
  • Thunderstorms typically produce heavy rain for a brief period, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Warm, humid conditions are highly favorable for thunderstorm development.
  • About 10 percent of thunderstorms are classified as severe - one that produces hail at least three quarters of an inch in diameter, has winds of 58 mph or higher or produces a tornado.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to local news for information.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Issued by the National Weather Service when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warning indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.

How to be Prepared

  • You should always have an emergency plan in place with your family or business.
  • Remove dead or rotting tree limbs and branches that could fall during high winds.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could cause damage.
  • Remain indoors during severe weather.
  • Unplug electrical equipment before the storm arrives to prevent items from shorting out.

 


February 02, 2012

Ice dams?  What are those?  Ice dams are just that: they are dams of ice that have built up on eaves, valleys and gutters.  These dams prevent melting snow and ice from running down.  As snow and ice melt, the water backs up and seeps under tiles or shingles.  Most people think that leaks in roofs are the causes of leakage and damage to exterior walls and ceilings.  While this may be true, it is also important to follow these tips to minimize ice dam formation on your roof:

  • Keep gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and natural debris
  • Identify areas of heat loss in your attic and then properly insulate those areas
  • Insulate heating ductwork in order to reduce heat loss through the attic
  • Use a snow rake or soft broom to clear fresh snowfall from gutters
  • Avoid using sharp tools or ice picks on gutter or downspouts
  • To avoid getting hurt by falling icicles or snow, don't climb on your roof or work on a ladder beneath a roof that has large amounts of snow on it.

 

Next week...The Severe Weather Preamble


January 25, 2012

Maybe it is just wishful thinking. Lately it seems as if we skipped right over winter and went straight into spring. However, we all know how crazy weather can be, so we should go ahead and make sure our homes are freeze ready just to be on the safe side. Besides, these tips are good to follow in general. You never know what tomorrow may bring.

·       Make sure walls and the attic space are adequately insulated.

·       Caulk and weather strip doors and windows to reduce wind drafts.  This is also good for maintaining an energy efficient home.

·       When expecting a freeze, detach all gardening hoses and shut off the water supply to outdoor faucets.

·       Install faucet covers to all outdoor faucets.

·       Tag the location of your main water valve and make sure you can easily turn it on and off.

·       Follow ice dam prevention tips to minimize ice dam formation on your roof.  We will go into these tips in next week’s blog.

·       Follow precautionary steps to safeguard your water pipes from freezing.

·       Keep garage doors closed to help eliminate drafts into the attached house.

·       During power failures, disconnect your electrical appliances to avoid damage from power surges.

·       Follow general weather safety tips to protect yourself and others from low temperatures.

 

Next week…The Ice Dam Predicament

 

Sources:

Ready.gov. 2012. FEMA. Retrieved January 5, 2012. www.ready.gov


January 18, 2012

During the severe weather that struck the Houston area on January 9th, the Beth Yeshurun Day School experienced massive flooding in areas around the facility. Due to excellent forethought on the part of the school administration, an emergency preparedness plan was in place and immediately enacted in order to ensure the safety of the students and staff.

Flash flooding in the playground area caused the drainage system to back up. This caused water to enter the school and leave around an inch of standing water in two-thirds of the newly renovated preschool wing and 80 percent of the new administration wing.

BYDS took action when local authorities issued a tornado watch for the area. As part of its emergency preparedness plan, school officials followed evacuation procedures. Around 130 students were moved into the unaffected synagogue where everyone was kept dry and safe.

Blackmon Mooring began the cleaning and restoration process the same day as the flooding. We installed pumps and dehumidifiers to dry out affected areas as quickly and safely as possible.

BYDS continues to hold classes as scheduled throughout the clean up process.

http://jhvonline.com/school-keeps-kids-safe-dry-during-building-flood-p12333-96.htm


January 18, 2012

It is important to always be prepared when it comes to hazardous weather.  You never know when something may happen.  Especially considering one day it’s 72 degrees and the next it is 48 degrees.  Having a plan in place ensures that you and your family or business is prepared.  In many of the blogs that we will be posting in the coming weeks and months, we will talk about having an emergency kit.  For the most part these emergency kits will have much of the same things: batteries, radio, non-perishable food, etc.  There are a couple of things that you should have in your winter weather emergency kit that part from the normal items.

·        Make sure you have rock salt or other such product to melt the ice on walkways.  Rock salt does not have an expiration date so it can be purchased and stored months before an event takes place.

·        Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel should your home or business lose power.  Texas and Oklahoma are particularly prone to ice storms rather than snow.  Ice is more dangerous because its weight tends to cause more tree limbs to fall on power lines.  In case of a power outage, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

·        Make sure you have adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.  Again, in case of a power outage, it is important to take every precaution to make sure that everyone is warm and toasty.

·        Make a family communication plan.  While in most cases, the Southern half of the country is particularly watchful of uncommon winter weather, there is the possibility that your family may not be together in the same place when a storm hits.  Therefore, have a plan in place to determine how each member will contact one another.

·        Listen to local news channels to keep yourself and your family or business up to date on weather conditions.

·        Minimize travel.  As stated previously, ice storms tend to be more dangerous than snow storms when it comes to roadway travel.  Use good judgment and stay indoors if at all possible.

·        Bring animals and plants to sheltered areas.  It’s cold out there.  Bring your pets and plants inside.  Move other animals or livestock to a barn type area with non-frozen drinking water.

 

Next Week…The Abode-Flurry Expectation

 

Sources:

Ready.gov. 2012. FEMA. Retrieved January 5, 2012. www.ready.gov

 


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