To the Trinity College Summer Community:
As you are well aware, over the past few weeks, weather patterns have produced significant thunderstorms and tornadoes that are above the norm for Connecticut.
The Emergency Management Team views the safety of our community as its top priority and this letter is intended to advise youof the appropriate action to take during thunderstorms and tornadoes. In the case where weather activity reaches emergency levels, we will utilize the College’s emergency notification systems to alert the campus and give instructions. Should there be any need for evacuations, we will supplement our campus alerts with appropriate instructions. We note that in some instances, these events may occur without much notice and will limit our ability to advise our community of hazardous weather conditions in a timely fashion. As such, we recommend that all of you monitor the weather forecasts and severe weather alerts and follow the recommendations of local and state officials. Please note that this is not a notice of an emergency situation, but rather it is a proactive step to augment our readiness in the event of weather-related emergencies.
Below you will find information relevant to thunderstorms and tornadoes as developed by weather and emergency management experts (you may also print the attachment and keep the information nearby).
· Postpone outdoor activities. Stay indoors until the storm has passed.
· Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
· Get inside a building, or automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
· Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
· Close windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
· Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
Preparation for a Tornado
· Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials. Here is a site where you may monitor weather situations and alerts: www.weather.gov
· Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
· Be on the lookout for the following common danger signs of an impending tornado:
o Dark, often greenish sky
o Large hail
o A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
o Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
What To Do During a Tornado
If a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter immediately! Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head. If available, put on a bicycle or motorcycle helmet to protect yourself from head injuries.
If you are in a structure (e.g. residence, small building, office, high-rise building):
· Go to the basement, or the lowest building level.
· If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.
· Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
· Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
· In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
· Put on sturdy shoes.
· Do not open windows.
If you are outside with no shelter:
· Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
· If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
· 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
· Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
· Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
· Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
What To Do After a Tornado
Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution or an explosion. Protecting yourself and your family requires promptly treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme care to avoid further hazards.
Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Get medical assistance. immediately. If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.
General Safety Advice
· Follow the directions of emergency personnel and cooperate fully with their instructions.
· Stay off the phone, except to report an emergency, in order to keep lines available for those needing help.
· Continue to monitor your battery-powered radio or television for emergency information.
· Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.
· Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.
· During a power outage, do not use candles, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your room or office. Carbon monoxide (CO) - an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe it - from these sources can build up in your room or office and poison the people inside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.
· Respond to requests for volunteer assistance by police, fire fighters, emergency management and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. Your presence could hamper relief efforts and you could endanger yourself.
Christopher D. Card
Associate Dean of Students
and Chair of the Emergency Management Team