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 Natural Disasters

Natural events and other incidents can disrupt services and create emergency conditions, but family preparedness can reduce any impact. Listen to your local news and weather reports daily. If severe weather is predicted, stay home, if possible, until roads are clear and services are restored. Be particularly alert for fallen electrical wires and report them to the power company. West Virginia emergencies can include:

Floods: In mountainous West Virginia, floods can result from heavy rain or sudden snow melts. Floods can be very destructive in narrow valleys and river lowlands. If they happen suddenly, escape routes may be limited. In these areas, be alert and be ready to evacuate quickly, if necessary. If a flood puts you in danger, move to higher ground. Don’t drive through high water. Keep children away from creeks, streams and storm drains.

Fires: Fires can be started by lightning, human carelessness or arson, and can spread very rapidly. Call 9-1-1 and get ready to evacuate before routes are cut off. If your house catches fire, leave the house immediately and then call 9-1-1. Do NOT try to put it out yourself. Lives are more important than possessions.

Winter Storms: Pay attention to weather forecasts in your area and stay at home if possible until roads are clear, downed electric wires are cleared, and services restored. Take care when shoveling heavy snow. Pace yourself.

Hurricanes or tornadoes: West Virginia is not on a typical hurricane or tornado path. However, very high winds, sometimes with heavy rain, can create emergency conditions. If possible, stay at home until roads are clear of debris, such as fallen trees and branches, and services are restored. In case of a tornado warning, take shelter in a basement corner or in a small interior room. Don’t attempt to outrun a tornado in a car. Get out and take shelter in a ditch or on low ground – not under a tree.


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