Dauphin County Commissioners recognize Severe Weather Awareness Week and offer tips for staying safe

HARRISBURG, PA (April 23, 2018) –Dauphin County Commissioners and the county’s Public Safety Department are recognizing the week of April 23 to April 27 as Severe Weather Awareness Week to alert citizens to the possibility of severe weather and to offer tips for staying safe.

“Having the Susquehanna River and small streams in our midst, we have seen first-hand the power of rising water and the damage it can do,” said Commissioner Mike Pries, who has oversight of Dauphin County’s Public Safety Department.  “Tornadoes, thunderstorms and flash floods can strike at any time, and often with little or no warning. It’s best to prepare for disasters before they hit.”

According to the National Weather Service, rivers and creeks can flood anytime of the year, but in spring and summer, thunderstorms can cause rivers and streams to quickly spill over their banks.  During late summer and fall, heavy rain from tropical storms and hurricanes is the major cause of flooding.

“Dauphin County is certified StormReady by the National Weather Service, meaning that we’re ready to respond to disasters, 24/7,” said Chairman Jeff Haste. “Our well-trained and experienced public safety staff monitor weather conditions and work closely with first responders to prevent the loss of life and property.”

If you have severe weather in your area, follow these safety tips:

  • If a flood is likely in your area, be aware that flash flooding can occur.  If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.    Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report downed power lines and electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.
  • Continue to monitor conditions with your cell phone, radio or television for emergency information.
  • Injury may occur when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or      near debris.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned. A mobile home can overturn very easily even if precautions have      been taken to tie down the unit. Residents of mobile homes must plan in advance and identify safe shelter in a nearby building.
  • After a disaster, be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in your home.      Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on      structural safety codes and standards. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you. 

“To minimize the loss of life and property from floods and other natural disasters, each family should sit down and discuss what they would do in an emergency,” said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “Always follow instructions given by local leaders and law enforcement during a disaster. It could save your life.”


Please visit www.ReadyPA.org for more safety tips, emergency kit checklists and family plan templates.