High winds have the potential to bring down trees, power lines, scaffolding, signs and awnings, and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. To prevent damage and injury, bring loose items indoors, and fully secure outdoor objects.
In advance of any storm, be sure your property is secure. Remove any dead trees or overhanging branches near structures, loose roofing materials and objects in yards, patios, roofs or balconies that could blow away.
Strong winds can make driving difficult, especially for those driving high profile vehicles and anyone driving across bridges and overpasses. Maintain a firm grip on the wheel and keep a safe distance between vehicles.
After a high wind advisory or high wind warning is issued residents should take the following precautions:
- Take shelter.
- Tune in to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local TV and radio stations.
- Ensure windows are secure and brace outside doors.
- Bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies and secure
The safest place to be during high winds is indoors. Postpone outdoor activities if a wind advisory or high wind warning has been issued.
If you are caught outside during high winds:
- Take cover next to a building or under a shelter.
- Stand clear of roadways or train tracks, as a gust may blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- Use handrails where available on outdoor walkways and avoid other elevated areas such as roofs without adequate railing.
- Watch for flying debris. Tree limbs may break and street signs may become loose during strong wind gusts.
- Keep an eye toward nearby balconies for loose objects that may fall.
If you are driving:
- Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down.
- Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
- Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes as strong gusts could push a car outside its lane of travel.
- Take extra care in a high-profile vehicle such as a truck, van, SUV, or when towing a trailer, as these are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts.
- If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, get onto the shoulder of the road and stop, making sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle. Stay in the car and turn on the hazard lights until the wind subsides.
In the event of a downed power line:
- Call for help. Report downed lines by calling 9-1-1. Do not try to free lines or to remove debris yourself.
- Avoid anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches. Puddles and even wet or snow-covered ground can conduct electricity in some cases. Warn others to stay away.
- If you see someone who has been shocked who may be in direct or indirect contact with a power line, do not try to touch them. You may become a second victim. Get medical attention as quickly as possible by calling 9-1-1.
- If a line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle. Take care not to touch any of the metal frame of your vehicle. Honk your horn, roll down the window and warn anyone who may approach of the danger. Ask someone to call 9-1-1. Do not exit the car until help arrives, unless it catches on fire. To exit, open the door, but do not step out. Jump, without touching any of the metal portions of the car’s exterior, to safe ground and get quickly away.