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Boone County emergency officials give safety advice ahead of possible severe storms

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Another round of storms are expected to roll through Mid-Missouri Saturday night and emergency officials want to make sure residents are prepared.

Before the storms hit, it is best to put together an emergency kit. Sharon Watson with the American Red Cross, said this should include things like a flashlight, battery-operated radio, first aid kit, water, and non-perishable foods.

Gale Blomenkamp, assistant chief for the Boone County Fire Protection District, said it's important for people to take steps around their homes before storms move in. This includes buckling down outside furniture or bringing it inside.

If you are indoors during the storms, go to the lowest level possible and stay away from windows.

Officials also said its important for people to track the timing of the storms so that they are in a situation to be able to find a safe place.

"If you are out traveling, don't stop on the highways. Visibility is not very good out there during the heavy rains and the lightning," said Blomenkamp. He said the best thing to do if you need to pull over is to make your way to an exit to avoid hazards on the shoulders of the highway.

Driving risks can also increase going into the evening hours. Blomenkamp wants to remind people not to drive through flooding roadways. "Don't overdrive your headlights so that if there is water on the roadway, you should be able to stop before you reach it," he said.

Watson advises residents under a severe watch to stay aware. "If you're listening to local media, you're going to be more in tune to where the storms are and what path its taking," Watson said.

For people living in a more at risk area such as a mobile home or the higher floors of an apartment building, Watson said its important to have a plan ahead of the severe weather that give you enough time to move to a different location.

"If you're in an apartment building, the best thing is to go to the lowest floor or a hallway away from the upper levels," Watson said. "Because mobile homes are so vulnerable in storms, those individuals should try to seek shelter in a more secure building."

Watson also recommends people to check things such as their gutters and sump pumps at their homes to avoid floods and have insurance if you know you're in an area that is prone to flooding.

To follow the latest storms, you can download the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather app.

Columbia / Columbia Video / Local News / Severe Weather / Storms / Top Stories / Video / Weather / Weather Alert Day
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Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.

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