/ Emergency Management
Most types of severe weather have the potential for generating dangerous winds any time of the year. In some cases, they may even spawn tornadoes. Windstorms and tornadoes are a serious threat in most parts of the country.
The Pacific Northwest has experienced many violent windstorms. These have included the Columbus Day storm of 1962, the November 1981 windstorms, the Inaugural Day storm of 1993 and, most recently, the windstorm of December 1995.
Common items such as cans, bottles, signs, trees, glass, roof shingles, lawn furniture and toys can become flying debris, or "projectiles", in high winds. They frequently cause severe property damage, major injuries and even death.
25-31 MPH - Large trees are in motion
32-38 MPH - Whole trees are in motion; inconvenience felt walking in wind
39-54 MPH - Twigs and small branches may break off trees; wind generally impedes progress when walking; wind may make high-profile vehicles, such as trucks and motor homes, difficult to control
55-74 MPH - Potential damage to TV antennae; wind may push over shallow-rooted trees, especially if the soil is water-saturated
74-95 MPH - Potential for minimal structural damage, particularly to unanchored mobile homes; wind may blow down power lines, signs and tree branches
96-110 MPH - Moderate structural damage to walls, roofs and windows; large signs and tree branches blown down; moving vehicles pushed off roads
111-130 MPH - Extensive structural damage to walls, roofs and windows; trees blown down; wind may destroy mobile homes
131-155 MPH - Extreme damage to structures and roofs; trees are uprooted or snapped
155 or greater MPH - Catastrophic damage; structures destroyed
Before High Winds Occur
- Identify a shelter or safe area in your home, away from windows, that will provide you with maximum protection.
- Locate utility shutoff locations and show family members how to turn them off when necessary.
- Identify items that you must secure or bring inside during high winds and severe weather.
- Discus what to do in case the power goes out or someone is injured.
- Assemble an emergency kit. Insure that it includes flashlights, a battery-powered or wind-up radio, extra batteries, and a manual can opener.
- Keep some nonperishable canned or packaged food on hand.
- When High Winds Are Forecast
- Fill family vehicles with fuel.
- Anchor outdoor objects that can blow away, such as garbage cans, hanging plants and lawn furniture, or move them inside.
During High Winds
- Stay indoors and away from windows.
- Do not drive.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Stay tuned to a local radio or TV station for additional weather and emergency information.
- Avoid driving when high winds are predicted or present. High winds can easily push a car out of its lane of travel or off the road. The larger the vehicle, the more susceptible it is to the force of the wind. If you are driving when high winds occur, pull safely off the road and seek shelter in a building.
- Being in a parked car is safer than being outside, but being in a building in safer than being in a car.
- During and after periods of high winds, be cautious of debris in the roadway and of downed or low-hanging utility wires.
- If you see a power line on the ground, DO NOT TOUCH IT WITH ANYTHING.
Expect that every power line is "live".
- If a power line falls across your vehicle, DO NOT GET OUT! Wait for emergency help to arrive.
- Keep any eye on the weather...
- For the latest weather information, tune in to your local radio or TV
station. Listening to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) weather radio station will also provide current and forecast
weather information. The National Weather Service operates these stations
and provides listeners with continuous updates 24 hours a day.
A weather WATCH means that atmospheric conditions are right for severe
A weather WARNING means that severe weather is imminent in the area
specified, or that observers have already seen it occurring.
For more information, contact Marion County Emergency Management at 503-588-5108
Last Updated: 8/28/2005 1:08:07 AM