Weather Whys: Storm Safety While At The Fair

Weather Whys

With around 30,000 people walking through the gates of the State Fair each day, public safety is no small feat. Marketing Director, Vince Azzarello says in the event storms, heading inside away from lightning is suggested. They typically close rides if there is lightning and strong wind but otherwise, a little rain should keep the rides going. 

The State Fair stays in tune with the weather by keeping in touch with the National Weather Service as well as the KX Storm Team. They’re notified when lightning is near to they can take the proper precautions to keep fair attendees safe. They also ask that fairgoers keep themselves informed to stay ahead of the storm by watching the weather before you come. 

Here is a list of locations you could be this summer and some of the best options for safety: 

In a house with a basement: Avoid windows. Get in the basement and under
some kind of sturdy protection (heavy table or work bench), or cover yourself
with a mattress or sleeping bag. Know where very heavy objects rest on the
floor above (pianos, refrigerators, waterbeds, etc.) and do not go under them.
They may fall down through a weakened floor and crush you. Head
protection, such as a helmet, can boost survivability also.

In a house with no basement, a dorm, or an apartment: Avoid windows. Go
to the lowest floor, small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a
stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch as low as
possible to the floor, facing down; and cover your head with your hands. A
bath tub may offer a shell of partial protection. Even in an interior room, you
should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets,
etc.), to protect against falling debris in case the roof and ceiling fail. A
helmet can offer some protection against head injury.

In an office building, hospital, nursing home or skyscraper: Go directly to an
enclosed, windowless area in the center of the building — away from glass
and on the lowest floor possible. Then, crouch down and cover your head.
Interior stairwells are usually good places to take shelter, and if not crowded,
allow you to get to a lower level quickly. Stay off the elevators; you could be
trapped in them if the power is lost.

 In a mobile home: Get out! Even if your home is tied down, it is not as safe
as an underground shelter or permanent, sturdy building. Go to one of those
shelters, or to a nearby permanent structure, using your tornado evacuation
plan. Most tornadoes can destroy even tied-down mobile homes; and it is
best not to play the low odds that yours will make it. This mobile-home
safety video from the State of Missouri may be useful in developing your
plan.

 At school: Follow the drill! Go to the interior hall or windowless room in an
orderly way as you are told. Crouch low, head down, and protect the back of
your head with your arms. Stay away from windows and large open rooms
like gyms and auditoriums.

In a car or truck: Vehicles are extremely risky in a tornado. There is no safe
option when caught in a tornado in a car, just slightly less-dangerous ones. If
the tornado is visible, far away, and the traffic is light, you may be able to
drive out of its path by moving at right angles to the tornado. Seek shelter in
a sturdy building, or underground if possible. If you are caught by extreme
winds or flying debris, park the car as quickly and safely as possible — out of
the traffic lanes. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down
below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or
other cushion if possible. If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level
of the roadway,leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with
your hands. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can create deadly
traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris.

In the open outdoors: If possible, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If not, lie
flat and face-down on low ground, protecting the back of your head with your
arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can; they may be blown
onto you in a tornado.

In a shopping mall or large store: Do not panic. Watch for others. Move as
quickly as possible to an interior bathroom, storage room or other small
enclosed area, away from windows.

 In a church or theater: Do not panic. If possible, move quickly but orderly to
an interior bathroom or hallway, away from windows. Crouch face-down and
protect your head with your arms. If there is no time to do that, get under the
seats or pews, protecting your head with your arms or hands.

(tornado safety list is courtesy of the National Weather Service)

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