Emergency Preparedness and Resources
The weather in Duncan is usually wonderful, but occasionally we experience powerful severe thunderstorms. What should you do when severe weather threatens?
The primary weather threats for Duncan and Stephens County are:
- High winds
- Winter Storms
- Extreme Heat
Do you know what to do if you are caught in the open during a thunderstorm? Lightning can strike up to several miles away from the thunderstorm.
- Avoid using the telephone or other electrical appliances
- Avoid taking a bath or shower
- Go to a safe shelter such as a sturdy building
- If no shelter is available a vehicle with a hard top and windows up can offer some protection
- If you are boating or swimming, get out of the water immediately and move to a safe shelter away from the water
- If you are in a wooded area, seek shelter under a thick growth of relatively small trees
- If you feel your hair standing on end, squat with your head between your knees. Do not lie down flat!
- Avoid isolated trees or other tall objects, bodies of water, sheds, fences, convertible vehicles, tractors and motorcycles
Tornadoes are the most violent atmospheric phenomena on the planet. Winds over 100 mph can occur with the most violent tornadoes. If a tornado were approaching, would you know what to do? The following are instructions on what to do when a tornado has been issued for your area.
In homes or small buildings
- Go to the basement if available or to an interior room on the lowest floor, such as a closet or bathroom.
- Wrap yourself in coats or blankets to protect yourself from flying debris.
In schools, hospitals, factories, or shopping centers
- Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest floor.
- Stay away from glass enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums and warehouses.
- Crouch down and cover your head with your hands.
In high rise buildings
- Go to interior small rooms or halls
- Stay away from exterior walls or areas with lots of glass
In cars or mobile homes
- Abandon them immediately
- Most tornado related deaths occur in cars and mobile homes
- Go to a substantial structure or designated tornado shelter
- DO NOT take shelter under bridges or overpasses!!!
- If no suitable shelter is nearby lie flat in a ditch or depression and use your hands to cover your head.
It is important to have an emergency action plan for each of type of threat. You need to know where you are going to go for safety, what you need to take with you, and if you are separated from your family where will you go to meet them after the storm? Keep in mind that during a tornado or high wind event your main physical threats include:
- Being penetrated by flying debris propelled by winds
- Being crushed under something heavy
- Being lifted and thrown by the wind
Actual tornadoes on the ground, causing damage, do not frequently occur in Duncan. According to the National Weather Service storm database, the most recent was in 2022 and was rated an EF 1, prior to that was in 2017 and was rated an EF0. The data shows the largest tornado to hit Duncan was an F2 in 1975 which resulted in 6 injured and 0 fatalities. We are very fortunate that we haven’t experienced a larger more powerful tornado, but we must understand that there is always a possibility of one coming to our community. Therefore, we must be prepared!
Flash Flood Safety
Flash floods develop quickly and can occur anywhere along rivers, creeks, low water crossings or in a dry stream bed. They can occur in any month of the year and at any time of the day. In fact, flash floods often occur at night when it is difficult to find an escape route. Flash floods can be deceptive. Flood waters are likely deeper and moving faster than they appear. What to do if you find yourself in a flash flood:
- Avoid low water crossings
- Use alternate routes to avoid flood prone areas
- Leave your vehicle immediately if it stalls in flood waters
- Move to higher ground if you can
- Most cars and light trucks will begin to float in as little as 1 -2ft of water
- Remember rising waters make vehicle doors difficult or impossible to open.
- Turn Around Don’t Drown!!!
If You are Outside
- Everyone, especially children, should stay away from flooded creeks, streams or drainage ditches
- Swiftly flowing waters can quickly sweep away even the strongest of swimmers
- Soggy banks can collapse and dump you in flood waters