Surviving severe weather in Alberta: tips to help keep you safe
Severe weather season has arrived in Alberta and it’s no surprise that the province has already experienced its fair share of storms and weather events.
When storms begin to roll through, it’s important to keep your eye on the sky and be prepared for the weather to change in an instant.
“Know where you’re going and know what you’re doing,” said Tom Sampson, Chief of Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA). “I know it sounds extreme, but know where you would seek refuge in the event the weather turns suddenly?”
It’s also important to keep an eye on weather watches and if that watch turns to a warning, officials advise stopping all activities and seeking shelter immediately.
“Move somewhere where you’re not subject to thunder, lightning, those sorts of things. If you’re on a lake, get off the lake,” Sampson added.
If you happen to find yourself outdoors during a storm, stay away from trees and get to a low lying area. If a severe wind storm hits, find shelter and put as many walls in between yourself and the storm.
For homeowners, there are things you can do to prevent flooding in your home during a storm:
- Face your downspouts away from your home and neighbouring homes
- Clear your eavestroughs of hail or other debris once it’s safe to do so
- Monitor window wells and basement drains to prevent possible water buildup
Some other storm safety tips include:
- When it comes to driving on the roads or if you happen to be walking around in a storm, use common sense to help keep things safe and don’t proceed through any water where you can’t see how deep it is
- Bring all animals inside
- Don’t leave your vehicle during a thunderstorm
- Do not park your vehicle under an underpass as it can cause backups and be dangerous to approaching drivers
Sampson added that any emergencies should be reported immediately and if you don’t feel comfortable clearing out eavestroughs during a storm, a quick call to 311 is always an option.
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