FEMA Issues Summer Tips

The first official day of summer is June 21st and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued a press release with tips to keep you safe and maximize your summer enjoyment.


According to the National Weather Service (NWS), increases in lightning strikes begin this season.

While the warm weather invites many outside activities, if you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. Take a moment during National Lighting Safety Awareness Week (June 18-24) to learn how to stay safe in a thunderstorm with tips from NWS.



·         If you are outdoors, go indoors – move inside a sturdy building or hard top vehicle with the windows up as soon as you hear thunder.

·         Do not take shelter in small sheds, gazebos, dugouts, bleachers, under isolated trees, or a convertible automobile.

·         Avoid open fields, the top of a hill, or a ridge top.

·         Stay away from water, wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract lightning but they are excellent conductors of electricity.



·         If you are indoors, stay there for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder.

·         Do not touch anything plugged into an electrical outlet.

·         Use a corded telephone only for emergencies; cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.

·         Avoid contact with plumbing; do not wash your hands; and do not take a shower or bath.


For more lightning safety information, visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.


Grill Safely This Summer

Learning about grilling safety can make your summer barbecue a fun day for everyone!


The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends the following tips for preventing burns and controlling the flames while you grill outside:

·         Only use your grill outside. Keep it away from siding and deck rails.

·         Wear short sleeves or roll them up when cooking on the grill.

·         Open your gas grill before lighting.

·         Use long-handled barbecue tools.

·         Keep a three-foot safe zone around grills, fire pits, and campfires. This will help keep kids and pets safe.

·         Never leave your grill, fire pit, or patio torches unattended.

·         Clean your grill after each use. This will remove grease that can start a fire.

·         Place the coals from your grill in a metal can with a lid once they have cooled.


More information regarding outdoor fires and burns are available at www.usfs.fema.gov.


Keep Your Home Cool for the Summer

As summer approaches, now is a great time to prepare your home for warmer weather and beat the heat with a cool house with these tips.


·         Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.

·         Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.

·         Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.

·         Weather-strip doors and sills to keep in cool air.

·         Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)

·         Keep storm windows up all year.


More information on extreme heat and weather  preparedness can be found at www.ready.gov/heat.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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