While high winds are commonly associated with severe storms, 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 greater or gusts to 58 mph or greater 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.
Preparing for High Winds
In advance of any storm, be sure your property is secure. Remove 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 wind warning is issued consider the following:
The safest place to during high winds is indoors.
Postpone outdoor activities if a wind advisory or wind advisory has been issued
If you are caught outside during high winds:
Stand 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. Tree limbs may break and street signs may become loose during strong wind gusts. Keep an eye toward nearby balconies for loose objects that may fall.
In the event of a downed power line:
Dial 9-1-1. Do not try to free lines or to remove debris yourself.
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. Warn others to stay away.
If you see someone who has been shocked who may be in direct or indirect contact with a power line, do not try to touch them. You may become a second victim. Get medical attention as quickly as possible by calling 9-1-1.
If a line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle. Take care not to touch any of the metal frame of your vehicle. Honk your horn, roll down the window and warn anyone who may approach of the danger. Ask someone to call 9-1-1. Do not exit the car until help arrives, unless it catches on fire. To exit, open the door, but do not step out. Jump, without touching any of the metal portions of the car’s exterior, to safe ground and get quickly away.