High Wind Preparedness

How to prepare for a High Wind Warning

While high winds are commonly associated with severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and nor’easters, they may also occur as a result of differences in air pressures, such as when a cold front passes across the area. A High Wind Warning is issued when sustained winds of 40 mph+ or gusts to 58 mph+ are expected.

High winds can cause downed trees and power lines, flying debris, and building collapses, which may lead to power outages, transportation disruptions, damage to buildings and vehicles, and injury or death. In advance of any storm, be sure your property is secure, removing any dead trees or overhanging branches near structures, loose roofing materials, and objects in yards, patios, roofs or balconies that could blow away.

If a High Wind Warning is issued, you should tune in to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service (NWS), NOAA Weather Radio, or local TV and radio stations. Shutter your windows securely and brace outside doors, bringing in unsecured objects from patios and balconies and securing outdoor objects such as lawn furniture or garbage cans.

Before a High Wind Event, you should:

Trim tree branches away from your house and power lines.

Identify an interior room of your house, such as a basement or interior bathroom, that you can take shelter in during high wind warnings.

Charge batteries of all essential items such as cell phones and booster packs, weather radios and power tools such as a reciprocating saw, which you might need to clear debris.

Update your emergency kit and be sure to include enough food and water to last for 3 days for each person in your home.

Secure loose gutters and shutters.

Make a list of items outside your home you will need to tie down or put away so that they don’t blow away or fly through a window. When NWS issues a high wind or severe thunderstorm watch, immediately secure these items to avoid damage or injury once the wind starts picking up.

If you live in a mobile home, identify a sturdy building you can go to if NWS issues a high wind or severe thunderstorm warning.

High Wind Safety Rules

The safest place to during high winds is indoors

Postpone outdoor activities if a wind advisory or high wind warning has been issued.

In the event of a downed power line:

Call for help. Report downed lines to your local utility emergency center and to the police. Do not try to free lines or to remove debris yourself.

Warn others to stay away. Avoid anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches. Puddles and even wet or snow-covered ground can conduct electricity in some cases.

If you see someone who has been shocked or may be in direct or indirect contact with a power line, do not try to touch them. Get medical attention as quickly as possible by calling 911.

If a line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle, taking care not to touch any of the metal frame of your vehicle. Honk your horn and roll down the window to warn anyone who may approach of the danger, asking someone to call the police if you are unable to do so yourself. Do not exit the car until help arrives, unless absolutely necessary; E.G. the care catches on fire.

If you must exit the car before help arrives, open the door but do not step out. Without touching any of the metal portions of the car’s exterior, jump to safe ground and get quickly away.

If you are caught outside during high winds:

Take cover next to a building or under a shelter, standing clear of roadways or train tracks, as a gust may blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Use handrails where available on outdoor walkways and avoid other elevated areas such as roofs without adequate railing.

Watch for flying debris, keeping an eye toward nearby balconies for loose objects that may fall. Tree limbs may break and street signs may become loose during strong wind gusts.

If you are driving:

Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down, watching for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.

Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes, as strong gusts could push a car outside its lane of travel.

Take extra care in a high-profile vehicle such as a truck, van, SUV, or when towing a trailer, as these are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts.

If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, get onto the shoulder of the road and stop, making sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle. Stay in the car and turn on the hazard lights until the wind subsides.

Important emergency preparation steps all Mid-Cities Medical patients should follow:

    1. Review all available safety components.
    2. Create and have an evacuation plan for your residence.
    3. Take as much oxygen and ventilation equipment with you, should you need to evacuate.
    4. Contact Mid-Cities Medical for emergency assistance and setup. You will need to provide us with your evacuation address and contact details.
      • Texas – 1 (888) 450-6676
      • CA & AZ – 1 (833) 986-4267

    If you have any oxygen or ventilation preparation questions during these ongoing events, or need emergency assistance, please contact our offices:

VISN 17 – Texas

Mid-Cities Medical – 1 (888) 450-6676

North Texas serviced from Grand Prairie, TX
Central Texas serviced from Woodway, TX & Austin, TX
South Texas serviced from San Antonio, TX
Valley Coastal Bend service from Corpus Christi & Mercedes, TX

VISN 22 – Arizona

Mid-Cities Medical – 1 (833) 986-4267

Phoenix serviced from Gilbert, AZ
Prescott serviced by Calox from Prescott, AZ
Show Low serviced from Show Low, AZ
Tucson serviced from Tucson, AZ

VISN 22 – Southern California

Mid-Cities Medical – 1 (833) 986-4267

Loma Linda serviced from Redland, CA
San Diego serviced from San Diego, CA

CalOx Inc. – 1 (866) 519-2414

Los Angeles serviced from Los Angeles, CA
Long Beach serviced from Los Angeles, CA

Emergency Resources

High winds may not get the attention that tornadoes and hurricanes rightly receive, but they can be dangerous. Protect yourself and your family by staying informed with local forecasts, having a preparedness plan, and heeding guidance from local emergency management officials.

national weather service