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Importance of Planning and Preparation

Hunting is a safe sport, but it does involve a certain amount of risk. Aside from firearm safety issues, a variety of incidents can occur on a trip outdoors. The rougher the terrain—particularly when it’s unfamiliar terrain—the greater the chance of accidents. Climate extremes also increase the risk. In remote areas, there’s always the possibility of becoming lost.

To plan properly:

Be Ready: To help you avoid or minimize problems, it’s essential that you plan carefully for the hunt. Responsible hunters anticipate potential problems and make plans to deal with them. Considerations include terrain, location, weather, dangerous game, and the potential for forest fires.

Know Your Location: Learn as much as you can about your chosen hunting area before you arrive. Purchase a topographic map, and familiarize yourself with the terrain. If the location is within a convenient drive, it’s a good idea to visit the area in the off-season.

Prepare for Safety: You also need to assess your physical condition and equipment. Refresh your memory of hunting and firearm safety rules, and review the rules with your hunting partners.

Tell Others: Prepare a hunting plan that tells where and with whom you are hunting and when you expect to return. Give specific directions on your route to your destination and any alternate destinations. Leave the plan with a family member or friend. Do not deviate from your hunting plan without notification. When hunting with a group, each person should discuss their route plan.

Hunting Plan

Before you depart, leave a hunting plan with a family member or friend. A hunting plan tells where and with whom you intend to hunt, and when you expect to return. It also should contain specific directions on your route to your destination and any alternate destination you may have if bad weather changes your plans.

Emergency information

  • The best protection during a tornado is in an interior room on the lowest level of a building, preferably a safe room.
  • Tornadoes strike with incredible velocity. Wind speeds may approach 300 miles per hour. These winds can uproot trees and structures and turn harmless objects into deadly missiles, all in a matter of seconds. Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to tornadoes.
  • Injury or deaths related to tornadoes most often occur when buildings collapse, people are hit by flying objects or are caught trying to escape
  • Tornadoes are most destructive when they touch ground. Normally a tornado will stay on the ground for no more than 20 minutes; however, one tornado can touch ground several times in different areas.

Danger zones

Tornadoes can occur in any state but are more frequent in the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest. The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas are at greatest risk.

What is a tornado?

A tornado is a violent windstorm characterized by a twisting, funnel-shaped cloud. It is spawned by a thunderstorm (or sometimes as a result of a hurricane) and produced when cool air overrides a layer of warm air, forcing the warm air to rise rapidly. The damage from a tornado is a result of the high wind velocity and wind-blown debris. Tornado season is generally March through August, although tornadoes can occur at any time of year. They tend to occur in the afternoons and evenings: over 80 percent of all tornadoes strike between noon and midnight.

Help your community get ready

The media can raise awareness about tornadoes by providing important information to the community. Here are some suggestions:

  • Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information about tornadoes. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals.
  • Periodically inform your community of local public warning systems.
  • Sponsor a "Helping Your Neighbor" program at your local schools to encourage children to think of those persons who require special assistance such as elderly people, infants, or people with disabilities.
  • Conduct a series on how to protect yourself during a tornado in case you are at home, in a car, at the office, or outside.
  • Interview local officials about what people living in mobile home parks should do if a tornado warning is issued.

Did you know?

  • Tornadoes can be nearly invisible, marked only by swirling debris at the base of the funnel. Some are composed almost entirely of windblown dust and still others are composed of several mini-funnels.
  • On average, the United States experiences 100,000 thunderstorms each year. Approximately 1,000 tornadoes develop from these storms.
  • Although tornadoes do occur throughout the world, the United States experiences the most intense and devastating tornadoes.
  • Tornadoes produce the most violent winds on earth. Tornado winds can approach speeds as high as 300 miles per hour, travel distances over 100 miles and reach heights over 60,000 feet above ground.
  • In November 1988, 121 tornadoes struck 15 south central states, resulting in 14 lives lost and damages reaching $108 million.
  • According to the National Weather Service, about 42 people are killed because of tornadoes each year.

Fujita - Pearson Tornado Scale

  • F-0: 40-72 mph, chimney damage, tree branches broken
  • F-1: 73-112 mph, mobile homes pushed off foundation or overturned
  • F-2: 113-157 mph, considerable damage, mobile homes demolished, trees uprooted
  • F-3: 158-205 mph, roofs and walls torn down, trains overturned, cars thrown
  • F-4: 207-260 mph, well-constructed walls leveled
  • F-5: 261-318 mph, homes lifted off foundation and carried considerable distances, autos thrown as far as 100 meters

Emergency information

Flood waters can be extremely dangerous. The force of six inches of swiftly moving water can knock people off their feet. The best protection during a flood is to leave the area and go to shelter on higher ground.

Flash flood waters move at very fast speeds and can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings, and obliterate bridges. Walls of water can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet and generally are accompanied by a deadly cargo of debris. The best response to any signs of flash flooding is to move immediately and quickly to higher ground.

Cars can be easily be swept away in just 2 feet of moving water. If flood waters rise around a car, it should be abandoned. Passengers should climb to higher ground.

Danger zones

Floods and flash floods occur within all 50 states. Communities particularly at risk are those located in low-lying areas, near water, or downstream from a dam.

What is a flood?

Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters--except fire. Most communities in the United States can experience some kind of flooding after spring rains, heavy thunderstorms, or winter snow thaws. Floods can be slow, or fast rising but generally develop over a period of days.

Dam failures are potentially the worst flood events. A dam failure is usually the result of neglect, poor design, or structural damage caused by a major event such as an earthquake. When a dam fails, a gigantic quantity of water is suddenly let loose downstream, destroying anything in its path.

What is a flash flood?

Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period. Flash floods occur with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes.

Help your community get ready

The media can raise awareness about floods and flash floods by providing important information to the community. Here are some suggestions:

  • Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information on floods and flash floods. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals.
  • Interview local officials about land use management and building codes in floodplains.
  • Work with local emergency services and American Red Cross officials to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do if an evacuation is ordered.
  • Periodically inform your community of local public warning systems.

Did you know?

  • Individuals and business owners can protect themselves from flood losses by purchasing flood insurance through National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowner's policies do not cover flood damage. Information is available through local insurance agents and emergency management offices.
  • Flooding has caused the deaths of more than 10,000 people since 1900. Property damage from flooding now totals over $1 billion each year in the United States.
  • More than 2,200 lives were lost as a result of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood of 1889. This flood was caused by an upstream dam failure.
  • On July 31, 1976, the Big Thompson River near Denver overflowed after an extremely heavy storm. A wall of water 19 feet high roared down the Big Thompson Canyon where many people were camping. 140 people perished and millions of dollars of property were lost.
 

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