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Audrain County Sheriff's Office
Mexico, Missouri

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Severe Weather Safety PDF Print E-mail

The severe weather season is already upon us here in mid Missouri and more severe weather is expected, so the Audrain County Sheriff's Office is providing these safety tips to the citizens and visitors of Audrain County to inform them of the dangers of severe weather.


In Homes, the basement offers the greatest safety. Seek shelter under sturdy furniture if possible. In homes without basements, take cover in the center part of the house, on the lowest floor, in a small room such as a closet or bathroom, or under sturdy furniture. Keep away from windows.

In Shopping Centers, go to a designated shelter area (not to your parked car).

In Office Buildings, go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor, or to the designated shelter area.

In Schools, follow advance plans to a designated shelter area, usually an interior hallway on the lowest floor. If the building is not of reinforced construction, go to a nearby one that is, or take cover outside on low, protected ground. Stay out of auditoriums, gymnasiums, and other structures with wide, free-span roofs.

In Automobiles, leave your car and seek shelter in a nearby building, or lie flat in a nearby ditch or ravine.

In Open Country, lie flat in the nearest ditch or ravine and cover your head.

Mobile Homes are particularly vulnerable and should be evacuated. Mobile Home parks should have a community storm shelter and a warden to monitor broadcasts throughout the severe storm emergency. If there is no shelter nearby, leave the trailer and take cover on low, protected ground.


Inside, stay away from windows and avoid using the telephone (except for emergencies) or other electrical appliances. Do not take a bath or shower because lightning may travel through the pipes.

If you plan to be outdoors, check the latest weather forecast and keep an eye on the sky. At signs of an impending storm--towering thunderhead, darkening skies, lightning, increasing wind--tune in your NOAA Weather Radio, AM-FM radio, or television for the latest weather information.

When a thunderstorm threatens, get inside a home, a large building, or an all-metal (not convertible) automobile. Do not use the telephone except for emergencies.

If you are caught outside, do not stand underneath a tall isolated tree or a telephone pole. Avoid projecting above the surrounding landscape. For example, don't stand on a hilltop. In a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees. In open areas, go to a low place, such as a ravine or valley.

Get off or away from open water, tractors, and other metal farm equipment or small metal vehicles, such as motorcycles, bicycles, golf carts, etc. Put down golf clubs and take off golf shoes. Stay away from wire fences, clotheslines, metal pipes, and rails. If you are in a group in the open, spread out, keeping people several yards apart.

Remember--lightning may strike several miles from the parent cloud. Precautions should be taken even though the thunderstorm is not directly overhead. If you are caught in a level field or prairie far from shelter and if you feel you hair stand on end, lightning may be about to strike you. Drop to your knees and bend forward, putting your hands on your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.


When you receive a flood warning:

  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs and in various containers. Water service may be interrupted.
  • If forced to leave your home, and time permits, move essential items to safe ground; fill fuel tanks to keep them from floating away; grease immovable machinery.
  • Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.

During the flood:

  • Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding.
  • Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream where water is more than ankle deep. Fast moving water can easily sweep a person off their feet.
  • Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road--you can be stranded or trapped. The depth of water is not always obvious. Water only one foot deep can displace 1500 lbs and two feet of water can easily carry most automobiles.
  • Do not allow children to play around streams, drainage ditches or viaducts, storm drains, or other flooded areas.

After the flood:

  • Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with flood waters. Boil drinking water before using. Wells should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking.
  • Seek necessary medical care at the nearest hospital. Food, clothing, shelter, and first aid are available at Red Cross shelters.
  • Do not visit disaster areas; your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas; electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service.
  • Use flashlights, not lanterns or torches, to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.
  • Report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities.

Severe Weather Safety information provided courtesy of KMIZ's Show-Me Weather and the Boone County Fire Protection District.

More information can be found at the National Weather Service website.

Updated 2007-03-30

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