Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Lisa Spencer visits Elmcroft

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Are you prepared for a disaster? Elmcroft Senior Living of Lebanon is.

A series of drills and educational seminars were held as part of their "Disaster Week." In the event of a flood, gas leak, or tornado - safety measures are in place to protect residents.

"There are a series of required drills that all assisted living communities much do each year," said Community Relations Director Tressa Bush. "In an effort to do them all in one week - and have a little fun - we created Disaster Week."

Channel 4 Meteorologist Lisa Spencer spoke to residents on Wednesday about severe weather. Spencer said that Middle Tennessee is in the middle of their peak season for storms. The peak season is March to May.

Spencer noted that tornados are especially dangerous - and something to look out for. "We are in killer tornado alley," she said, adding that the best time for tornados to develop is late afternoon.

Spencer discussed with residents the difference between a storm watch and a storm warning - before offering helpful safety tips.

"A watch is going to be issued in a large area for a long period of time. A watch means you need to be paying attention to the weather that day," she said. "A warning means it is time to do something. It is typically a small area and a small amount of time."

During a tornado it is best to seek shelter in your home's lowest level, away from windows. In the event of a tornado, Elmcroft residents are moved to two hallways without windows in the single story building.

Spencer said that if you are in your vehicle when a tornado hits, it is wise to stop and go into a sturdy building or leave your car and lie flat in a ditch or culvert.

Despite popular theory, it is not best to go underneath an overpass because of the "wind tunnel effect."

Spencer also discussed lightning storms.

Lightning, she said, strikes tall things first. She instructed residents to not seek shelter under a tree or picnic shelter if they are outside during such an event.

"You want to be in an enclosed space. The best places to be are inside a vehicle or house because they act as a faraday cage - even if lightning strikes, all of that is going to go around you."

She continued that residents should not shower during a lightning storm since water is a conducer of electricity.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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