Don't blow it: Safety tips during high wind weather warnings
By Master Sgt. Roderick George, 99th ABW Ground Safety
/ Published April 17, 2009
Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. -- During recent weeks, strong winds have hit the Las Vegas Valley. The National Weather Service has reported sustained winds reaching 30 mph and wind gusts between 65-72 mph.
Winds of this magnitude have the potential to bring down trees, power lines and signs, and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. Listed below are some tips to keep in mind 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
· Watch for flying debris. Tree limbs may break and street signs may come loose during strong winds
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. Take care not to 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, to safe ground and get quickly away.
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.
For additional safety information pertaining to high wind warnings, contact the 99th Air Base Wing Safety office at 652-7602.