Rotarians learn how to prepare for severe weather

Rotarians learn how to prepare for severe weather
The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly meeting Tuesday, July 11, at the Neuharth Center on the campus of USD. The recently elected president, Roger Kozak, conducted the meeting. The invocation was provided by the outgoing president, Rev. Mercy Hobbs. Rotarian Ben Nesselhuf introduced Tim Taylor, his guest for today.

President Kozak presented a plaque to former president Mercy Hobbs in appreciation for her work as president during the past year.

Rotarian Barry Vickrey introduced Layne Stewart of the Clay County Office of Emergency Management who presented the program for the day entitled "Severe Weather Preparedness."

Mr. Stewart said that hundreds of natural and man-made disasters occur every year and can affect hundreds of thousands of people and cause millions to billions of dollars worth of damage.

Part of any emergency plan is to be prepared to be self-sufficient for three days. An emergency kit should have enough food and water and other items for a three-day period. This should include one gallon of water per person per day (including pets), sufficient food, battery-powered radio, sleeping bags, candles, sanitation items and medications.

Above all, a plan is needed to know how to respond to emergencies and disasters. We should also be informed about what might happen by watching or listening to the news and weather forecasts.

In the case of floods, listen to the news and have an evacuation plan. Don't drive through flooded roads; avoid floodwaters and power lines.

With regard to thunderstorms, always apply the 30/30 rule. If you can't count up to 30 between seeing lightning and hearing thunder, get into shelter and don't go back outside for 30 minutes after hearing the last of the thunder. Stay out of water if you are on a boat, seek shelter in a low area outside, don't shower or use the telephone during the thunderstorm.

If there is a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in a shelter, basement, or an interior hallway or bathroom. Stay away from windows.

With regard to motorists, Mr. Stewart stated that during an emergency such as a thunderstorm, the metal in the car will protect occupants to some degree, but shelter should be a priority. In the case of a flood or tornado the best advice is to get out of the car and seek shelter. If an emergency is just developing, listen to the car radio for information concerning a proper response.

He stated that more information is available on their website: He then entertained questions from the audience.

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