Hurricanes, Tornadoes & Thunderstorms

The severe weather season is upon us. Hurricanes, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms -- all spell danger. They can leave death and horrendous property damage in their wake.

Hurricane season runs from June through November. Hurricane watches mean that a hurricane may threaten an area within 24 hours; warnings means a hurricane is expected to strike within 24 hours. Tornadoes are more frequent during the spring and summer months, but they can occur at any time throughout the United States, especially during or near the end of a thunderstorm. Tornado watches and warnings involve a much shorter length of time -- so pay attention. Tornadoes are among the worst killers.

Radio and TV advisories from the National Weather Service will help save your life, but you must follow some safety rules during these types of weather conditions. Be prepared. Check needed supplies and equipment regularly. When you hear the first storm advisory, be alert for future messages. If your area receives a warning, remain calm. Spread the word to the entire crew quickly; secure all outdoor objects and construction materials; lower mobile crane booms; check the security of the job trailer underpinnings; etc. You may want to turn off utilities such as. Natural gas, water and electricity.

Continue monitoring the storm's position and be prepared to take cover. If you are indoors go to the lowest level in the building to an interior room. Lie flat and shield your head with arms. Do not go near windows, doors or exterior walls. If you are outdoors, look for a sturdy building and get inside. If you can't do that then go to the nearest ditch or gully and lie flat. Again, be sure to cover your head with your arms to protect it from flying objects.

Thunderstorms create large amounts of lightning, strong winds and heavy rains. Never stand next to power poles, crane booms or any metal object that can act as a lightning rod. Avoid any loose or dangling wires after the storm and report them to the utility company. Drive carefully along debris filled streets.