The weather in Texas can be unpredictable during the spring. Beautiful and sunny weather, could quickly turn into a severe thunderstorm with high winds and hail. We have recently experienced a number of severe thunderstorms with hail and tornadoes. As a caregiver, it’s important to be prepared for any type of weather emergency for not only yourself but for your patients as well. It’s important to be informed with the most likely natural disasters, stay up to date with weather alerts and prepare an emergency plan. In the event of bad weather, these tips can help you safely navigate spring Texas storms.
How to Stay Safe in a Tornado
Tornadoes can be extremely dangerous, and they can occur without warning. It’s important to know that a tornado watch means a tornado is possible in and near the watch area. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted and you should immediately take cover. According to the National Weather Service, the best way to protect yourself from a tornado is to take shelter in a sturdy building. If you are not in the position to take cover in a sturdy building nearby, take cover in a ditch or low-lying area. In the event of a tornado, you should:
- Stay away from windows to avoid injuries from flying glass. If you can’t stay away from windows, try to find a safe place to hide, such as a basement or an interior room without windows.
- Stay off of porches and balconies. If you’re on a porch or balcony, go inside immediately.
- Avoid open spaces. Find a safe place to hide like a low-lying area such as a ditch or ravine.
- Stay away from power lines and poles.
- Keep yourself and your family together.
- Don’t try to outrun the tornado.
- Take cover immediately in basement or an interior room without windows. If you can’t find a safe place, lie flat on the ground and cover your head with your hands.
Stay Safe from High Winds with These Tips
High winds can cause just as much danger to caregivers and patients as more severe storms. According to the National Weather Service, sustained wind speed of 58mph or higher is considered damaging and have the potential to cause injuries due to downed lines or flying debris. Follow these tips to stay safe during high winds:
- Stay inside if possible.
- Wear sturdy shoes to prevent losing your balance.
- Use caution when driving.
- Stay away from power lines and poles.
Be Prepared During Hail
Hail is precipitation in the form of ice that falls like rain and can be the size of a grapefruit or larger. If not prepared, hail can be extremely deadly. Follow these tips to stay safe during hail:
- Quickly find shelter indoors.
- If you have to go outside during a hail storm, wear a hat or helmet.
- Stay away from windows as hail can cause glass to break possibly resulting in injuries.
- Protect your head and face if you are not able to find shelter by crouching down while covering your head with your hands.
What to do When Lightning Strikes
The leading cause of weather-related fatalities is due to lightning, according to the National Weather Service. Lightning can be hotter than the Sun’s surface so if someone has been struck, contact 9-1-1 immediately. Follow these tips to help prevent injuries during a storm:
- Find shelter indoors as quickly as possible.
- Stay away from windows.
- Don’t stand under trees.
- Avoid metal objects.
- Stay away from water.
How to Remain Safe in Case of a Flood
Flooding can occur quickly as water accumulates. For your safety, it is crucial to avoid walking or driving through a large accumulation of water or floodwaters. If you encounter flooding while driving, turn around and find an alternate route. If you’re caught in a flood, these tips can help you remain safe:
- Stay away from moving water.
- Don’t walk through floodwaters.
- Turnaround or find an alternate route to avoid driving through floodwaters.
- Stay on higher ground.
- Don’t enter a flooded building.
- Watch for hazards in floodwaters like sharp objects, animals, and other dangers.
Being Prepared Means Staying Safe
Spring storms can be dangerous, but with a little preparation and the tips above, you can keep your patients safe as well as yourself. Part of being prepared means assessing the needs medical and physical needs of your patients so that in case of an emergency, you will know how to respond. Lastly, it’s critical to always heed the advice of local emergency officials. Sign up for local weather alerts and stay safe!
If you’re looking to join a team that makes caregiver and patient safety a priority, search our home health careers.