The weather channel has issued several warnings this week for areas that are facing a higher potential for tornado or severe storms. For many communities in the U.S. the start of spring brings with it a growing fear of the potential of a tornado developing with minimal notice. This year has already witnessed several large and damaging tornadoes from Michigan down through Alabama.
Wikipedia Tracks Reported Tornadoes of 2012, and there have already been over 250 large tornadoes reported this year! With much of the U.S. experiencing an extremely warm spring and abnormal weather, the impression is that 2012 could see a large number of severe storms and communities should be on high alert, with disaster plans and emergency responders coordinating recovery preparation.
Government safety tips can be found online at the Storm Predictor Center in Oklahoma and posted below as originally presented on their website.
Key takeaways for safety include:
In a house with a basement: Avoid windows. Get in the basement and under some kind of sturdy protection (heavy table or work bench), or cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag. Know where very heavy objects rest on the floor above (pianos, refrigerators, waterbeds, etc.) and do not go under them. They may fall down through a weakened floor and crush you. Head protection, such as a helmet, can offer some protection also.
In a house with no basement, a dorm, or an apartment: Avoid windows. Go to the lowest floor, small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down; and cover your head with your hands. A bath tub may offer a shell of partial protection. Even in an interior room, you should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, etc.), to protect against falling debris in case the roof and ceiling fail. A helmet can offer some protection against head injury.
In an office building, hospital, nursing home or skyscraper:Go directly to an enclosed, windowless area in the center of the building — away from glass and on the lowest floor possible. Then, crouch down and cover your head. Interior stairwells are usually good places to take shelter, and if not crowded, allow you to get to a lower level quickly. Stay off the elevators; you could be trapped in them if the power is lost.
In a mobile home:Get out! Even if your home is tied down, it is not as safe as an underground shelter or permanent, sturdy building. Go to one of those shelters, or to a nearby permanent structure, using your tornado evacuation plan. Most tornadoes can destroy even tied-down mobile homes; and it is best not to play the low odds that yours will make it. This mobile-home safety video from the State of Missouri may be useful in developing your plan.
At school:Follow the drill! Go to the interior hall or room in an orderly way as you are told. Crouch low, head down, and protect the back of your head with your arms. Stay away from windows and large open rooms like gyms and auditoriums.
In a car or truck: Vehicles are extremely risky in a tornado. There is no safe option when caught in a tornado in a car, just slightly less-dangerous ones. If the tornado is visible, far away, and the traffic is light, you may be able to drive out of its path by moving at right angles to the tornado. Seek shelter in a sturdy building, or runderground if possible. If you are caught by extreme winds or flying debris, park the car as quickly and safely as possible — out of the traffic lanes. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or other cushion if possible. If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway,leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can create deadly traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris.
In the open outdoors: If possible, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If not, lie flat and face-down on low ground, protecting the back of your head with your arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can; they may be blown onto you in a tornado.
In a shopping mall or large store: Do not panic. Watch for others. Move as quickly as possible to an interior bathroom, storage room or other small enclosed area, away from windows.
In a church or theater: Do not panic. If possible, move quickly but orderly to an interior bathroom or hallway, away from windows. Crouch face-down and protect your head with your arms. If there is no time to do that, get under the seats or pews, protecting your head with your arms or hands.
Teams from Jarvis have been working around the clock since last Thursday evening in an effort to cleanup and repair homes that were damaged by a large tornado in the Dexter area. From providing temporary roof tarps, to boarding up windows and doors, the emergency responders have been racing to quickly help minimize additional damages to homes and protect them from additional weather elements. The personal property division from Jarvis has been assisting several homeowners with pack-out, cleaning and storage of personal items that were damaged during the storm.
The severe weather seems to be causing havoc in all parts of the U.S. In the deep south, parts of Texas received over six inches of rain earlier today, and the severe storms are pushing East through Louisiana and northward up into Arkansas. Jarvis national disaster response division is closely following the storm system, should flash flooding become problematic in the area, or catastrophic flooding were to occur as a result. The extremely warm weather has been spawning pockets of warm weather and sever storms, to most States that are East of the Rockies over the past thirty days. With the latest shift in the atmosphere, expected to bring more rain and potential thunderstorms into the Great Lakes region by this weekend.
This years weather system has been chaotic to say the least, with the weather shift the models for hurricanes and tropical storms will be very interesting to follow, as the assumption would be for a very active summer this year.
A large tornado struck the ground in Washtenaw County Michigan on March 15 causing substantial damages to homes and businesses in the Dexter, Pinckney and surrounding areas. The storm system carried winds in excess of 100 miles per hour and complely flattened several homes. Jarvis has dispatched members of their first response team into the area to help property owners secure their homes. Jarvis is assisting with window board ups, roof tarping, emergency repairs and securing damaged buildings. The water damage repair teams are working in the Ann Arbor area following torrential rainfall and reports of substantial amounts of flash flooding. You can reach memberers of the disaster recovery team at 734-418-9080.
This is a developing story, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families and residents of Dexter who were impacted by today’s storm. Below is a video of some property damage, seen at ground level, believed to be in the Dexter Michigan area.
Today’s storms appear to have covered a wide path and damage is being reported from Genessee County across to Port Huron and numerous communities in the Downriver area, including Taylor, Woodhaven and Monroe Michigan were impacted by today’s storms. The severe weather has caused damage to homes ranging from basement flooding issues, to missing shingles, blown out windows and in rare circumstances complete destruction. Property owners should use extreme caution when assesing roofs for damage and should pay close attention to the potential for downed electrical lines.
Jarvis cleanup and repair crews will be in numerous communities on March 16th to help with recovery efforts. Jarvis works with every major insurance carrier in Michigan for repairs from storm damage. In many cases Jarvis can coordinate direct insurance billing to make the claim process hassle free, allowing you to focus on your immediate recovery needs.
Updated video (3-16) from WXYZ newscast in Detroit, showing Derek Arrington of the construction department in the area of Dexter helping with roof tarping and emergency building temps.
A slow moving low pressure system will stall out over Northern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and parts of Tennessee this week, creating the first potential flood threat of 2012. The storm system will be pulling in moisture off of the Gulf of Mexico, and slowly will make a turn towards the east by Saturday. The system could produce isolated areas of flash flooding problemts in communities such as Little Rock, Dallas and Tulsa. Early projections are calling for the system to produce between 3 to 6 inchease of rainfall, with select areas having the potential to exceed eight inches in total.
The mild winter that has elevated temperatures for much of the U.S. year to date, also has many experts believing that this could become a record spring for tornado and severe storm occurences. This weeks storm sytsem is not projected to bring severe wind gusts or tornadoes, but will certainly carry a substantial amount of rainfall into the region.
Jarvis team of first responders from Iowa, Illinois and Florida will be monitoring the developing system to offer assistance to business owners and commercial property owners who may suffer from flood damage due to this weeks storm system. The potential for catastrophic flooding is not likely, but should be closely monitored by area residents and properties that are in close proximity of creeks, rivers and streams.
Severe weather is striking in many areas of the Midwest and Ohio Valley on Friday. From Tennessee north to Southern Michigan, communities in several states are dealing with the aftermath of storm damage caused by the latest round of severe weather to roll through the region. By 4pm est on Friday, the national weather service has already reported tornadoes strikes in Tennessee, Indiana and Alabama and the potential for more severe weather appeared to be growing versus diminishing as a setup for high intensity thunderstorms was in place.
Michigan residents are on high alert, as the National Weather Service has issued a high wind weather advisory, with the potential of gusts exceeding sixty miles per hour this evening. The storm system is expected to bring occasional thunderstorms and strong wind gusts. Jarvis has increased the on call response for this weekend to assist with the loss of power, emergency roof tarps and repairs and additional storm damage that may occur due to this evenings storm system.
Jarvis will be monitoring the development of tornadoes and impending storm damage this weekend and has the national disaster response team on alert, as well as reaching out to regional partner companies throughout the Ohio Valley to ensure customers in need of emergency service due to the storm outbreak receive prompt assistance.
March is following in the footsteps of 2011 with wild weather and severe thundershowers. As the potential for snow and wintry weather appear to be dwindling, the dramatic changes in weather and shifts in the atmosphere appear to be increasing the potential of storms and severe weather conditions. Property owners are urged to take caution and seek shelter during tornado warnings and watches and closely monitor the developing storm systems.
Should you need emergency service due to wind or storm damage, you can reach our offices 24/7 at 866-452-7847