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  • Storm Preparedness Tips

  • Whether at home or at school, before severe weather arrives, here's what you can do to prepare:

    • Locate a safe shelter area

    • Store drinking water, first aid kit, canned/no-cook food, manual can opener, radio, flashlight and extra batteries, all placed where you can easily find them in the dark.

    • Keep essential medicines on hand

    • Keep cars and other vehicles fueled and in good repair, with a winter emergency kit in each.

    • Get a NOAA Weather Radio to monitor severe weather.

    • Know how the public is warned (siren, radio, TV, etc.) and the warning terms for each kind of weather related emergency.

    • Take preventative measures to prevent water pipes from freezing. Get more info here.

    • Take steps ahead of severe weather to be prepared. Choose one thing for 12 months from and you’ll be better prepared for emergencies.

    Winter storm watch…be alert, a storm is coming

    Winter storm warning…take action, a storm is entering the area

    Blizzard warning…snow and strong winds will produce blinding snow and zero visibility, deep drifts and life-threatening wind chill--seek refuge immediately

    Winter weather advisory…Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists

    Frost/freeze warning…Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops or fruit trees

    Flash flood or flood watch…be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moments notice

    Flash flood warning…A flash flood is imminent--act quickly to save yourself because you may have only seconds

    Flood warning...Flooding has been reported or is imminent--take necessary precautions at once--know safe routes from home, work and school to high ground

    Severe thunderstorm watch...Weather conditions could result in a storm with damaging winds (58 miles per hour or more), or hail (three-fourths of an inch in diameter or greater). There is time to locate a safe place in the home and tell family members to watch the sky and listen to the radio or television for more information.

    Severe thunderstorm warning...A severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. The danger is very serious and everyone should go to a safe place, turn on a battery-operated radio or television, and wait for the "all clear" by the authorities.

    Tornado watch...Weather conditions indicate a tornado is possible in the area. Listen to the radio or TV for further updates. Be alert to changing weather conditions, blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado. Many say it sounds like a freight train.

    Tornado warning...A tornado has been sighted and may be headed for the area. Go immediately to safety. If inside, go to a place picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. If outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low lying area. If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety. Do not try to outrun a tornado.

    Environmental Clues:

    • dark, often greenish sky
    • wall cloud
    • large hail
    • loud roar, similar to a freight train


    BWL Storm Preparedness

    The BWL continuously monitors weather conditions for signs of potential problems.

    • At the first sign of a major storm approaching, administrative and field personnel are alerted to prepare support staff for possible emergency duty.

    • Availability of needed supplies (poles, transformers, cable, etc.) is checked.

    • Repair vehicles are fueled up and loaded with essential equipment and supplies.

    • If severe weather and extensive damage is expected, arrangements are made with outside utility companies to provide backup crews.

    • In addition to their regular duties, a number of employees throughout the BWL system have volunteered for special training for storm assignments, such as spotters and public safety watchers. Spotters patrol the service area to report damage and public safety watchers assist in keeping the public away from downed wires until repair crews are available.

    • In the event of an emergency, the BWL collaborates with the City of Lansing Emergency Operations Center and other agencies to coordinate restoration and community strategy.


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