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January 30, 2013

What to Do in High Winds

THOMASVILLE — Gusting winds can bring down trees, power lines and signs and turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. Below are tips for staying safe during high wind warnings.

If you are caught outside during high winds:

  • Take cover next to a building or under a secure 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 and avoid elevated areas such as roofs.

In the event of a downed power line:

  • Report downed lines to your local utility emergency center and to the police.
  • Avoid anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches.
  • If a line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle. Do not touch any part 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 the police.
  • Do not exit the car until help arrives, unless it catches fire. To exit, open the door, but do not step out. Jump without touching any of the metal portions of the car's exterior, and quickly get safe ground.

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 trucks, vans, SUVs, or when towing a trailer, as these are more prone to being pushed or flipped by high wind gusts.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, safely pull over 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.

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