When Severe Weather Threatens

Severe weather can hold many hazards, but injuries and deaths may be minimized if precautions are taken. Although there is no guaranteed safe place during a tornado, some locations are better than others. By following these safety tips you can increase your chances of survival.

Listen for Updates

At signs of threatening weather, check the weather forecast, especially before leaving for extended periods of time outdoors. Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. Keep a portable (battery-powered) AM/FM radio with you. NOAA Weather Radios are available at retail stores in Coffey County. Weather information is broadcast from the tower at Halls Summit at 162.425 MHz. Weather radios can be obtained from businesses where electronics are sold.


If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Move to safe shelter immediately in a sturdy building or car. Do not shelter in a shed, under isolated trees, or in convertible cars. Get out of boats and away from water.

If Caught Outdoors

If you're caught in severe weather outdoors, find a low spot away from trees, fences and poles. Make sure the place you pick won't be subject to flooding. If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees. If you feel your skin tingle or your hair standing on end, you are about to be struck by lightning, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet (do not lay flat). Place your hands on your knees and your head between them. Make yourself as small as possible and minimize contact with the ground.

Unplug Electronics

Telephone lines and metal pipes conduct electricity. Unplug and avoid using electrical appliances. Use the telephone only in an emergency. Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can overload compressors. Do not take a bath or shower.