Be Prepared and Safe for Severe Weather in Idaho

Be Prepared and Safe for Severe Weather in Idaho

When springtime rolls around, so does the unpredictable nature of its weather patterns.  Severe weather can strike anytime and anywhere. From thunderstorms that brings damaging winds to the risk of flooding due to snowmelt – being prepared is key to mitigating its impact on you and your loved ones. With the arrival of Idaho’s unexpected weather, the Idaho Office of Emergency Management (IOEM) has gathered tips and resources to keep you and your loved ones safe during severe weather events.

Know Your Risk: Thunder and Lightning

Thunderstorms can be dangerous, with lightning posing a significant threat. Here’s how you can stay safe:

Preparing for Thunderstorms & Lightning

  • Know Your Risk: Understand your area’s risk for thunderstorms and take measures to strengthen your home against potential damage.

Staying Safe During Thunderstorms & Lightning

  • Take Shelter: Move indoors and avoid using water or electronic devices during thunderstorms.

Staying Safe After Thunderstorms & Lightning

  • Stay Informed: Pay attention to weather forecasts and authorities’ instructions regarding potential hazards.

Know Your Risk: Floods

Flooding poses significant risks to life and property. Here’s how you can stay safe:

  • Seek Shelter: Find safe shelter immediately and avoid walking, swimming, or driving through floodwaters.
  • Stay Informed: Pay attention to flood warnings and never underestimate the power of moving water.

Preparing for a Flood

  • Understand Your Risk: Use FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to determine flood risks in your area and purchase flood insurance if needed.
  • Plan Ahead: Create an emergency plan for your household and gather necessary supplies for evacuation or sheltering in place.

Staying Safe During a Flood

  • Follow Orders: Evacuate if instructed, and listen to authorities for updated information and instructions.
  • Avoid Risks: Stay clear of flooded roads and bridges over fast-moving water.

Staying Safe After a Flood

  • Stay Informed: Pay attention to authorities’ guidance and avoid driving except in emergencies.
  • Exercise Caution: Wear protective gear during cleanup, and be mindful of potential hazards like downed power lines.

For more information on flood safety tips, please visit IOEM’s Staying Safe During Floods blog post.

Know Your Risk: Winter Weather

Winter storms can bring extreme cold and hazardous conditions. Here’s how you can protect yourself:

  • Stay Informed: Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms.

Preparing for Winter Weather

  • Winterize Your Home: Prepare your home for cold weather, gather necessary supplies, and create an emergency supply kit for your car.

Staying Safe During Winter Weather

  • Avoid Exposure: Limit outdoor activities and dress warmly to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Stay Off Roads if Possible: Minimize travel during severe winter weather, and if trapped in your car, remain inside until help arrives.
  • Recognize Frostbite and Hypothermia: Familiarize yourself with the signs and basic treatments for frostbite and hypothermia. Take prompt action if symptoms arise.
  • Use Generators Safely: Always operate generators outdoors and away from windows, and never use them indoors or in enclosed spaces.

For more information on flood safety tips, please visit IOEM’s Navigating Winter Storms blog post.

Know Your Risk: Tornadoes

Tornadoes are nature’s juggernauts, capable of causing immense destruction within seconds. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe:

  • Stay Informed: Keep a close eye on NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information.
  • Seek Shelter Immediately: Head to a safe shelter such as a basement, storm cellar, or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Avoid windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Be Vigilant: Watch out for flying debris and protect your head and neck with your arms.

Preparing for a Tornado

  • Know Your Area’s Risk: Understand the tornado risk in your region and familiarize yourself with the signs of an impending tornado.
  • Sign Up for Alerts: Stay connected to your community’s warning system and pay attention to weather reports.
  • Plan Ahead: Identify and practice going to a safe shelter and ensure your emergency supplies include provisions for your pets.

Staying Safe During a Tornado

  • Act Promptly: Immediately seek shelter in a safe location and pay attention to emergency alerts.
  • Protect Yourself: Cover your head and neck and shield yourself from flying debris.
  • Avoid Driving: If you’re outdoors, do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. Find a sturdy shelter immediately.

Staying Safe After a Tornado

  • Communicate Wisely: Use text messaging or social media to communicate and save phone calls for emergencies.
  • Listen to Local Authorities: Follow instructions from local authorities and avoid fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Safety First: Wear appropriate gear during cleanup and be cautious of potential hazards.

Take Action: Develop an Emergency Plan

  • Create a Plan: Develop a comprehensive emergency plan for your household, considering specific needs and responsibilities.

Remember, preparation is key to staying safe during severe weather events. Stay informed, make a plan, and be ready to act swiftly when disaster strikes. For more information and resources on emergency preparedness, stay connected with IOEM’s social media channels, such as Facebook and X (Twitter), for the latest updates and other preparedness tips.

For more information on preparing before a flooding event, visit the following resources:

Stay safe, Idaho!