GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Today marks #SafePlaceSelfie Day for 2021, but why is this hashtag accompanied by photos of people crouching in bathtubs, closets and basements?
The answer is because this social trend is all about finding your severe weather safe place, and using the power of social media to encourage others to do the same!
On Safe Place Selfie Day everyone is encouraged to go to your severe weather safe place and take a selfie. Then share that selfie on social media using #SafePlaceSelfie and tag your friends, family and colleagues encouraging them to do so as well.
The reason for this push, even though the selfies may seem silly, is to get you to think about where you would go during a severe storm before a storm comes knocking on your door. Preparation is one of the most important parts to staying safe during a storm.
Finding Your Safe Place:
In most houses the absolute best place to be will be a basement or storm shelter. If you do not have access to one of these areas, other options exist.
If you live in a single story home, find an interior closet, bathroom or hallway. Make sure it does not have an exterior wall, window or doorway directly in sight from where you are taking shelter.
If you live in a two story house, seeking shelter under interior stairs is also a good option.
If you live in an apartment building, and do not live on the first floor, make arrangements with your first floor neighbors to seek shelter with them if necessary. Staying on any floor above the first increases your risk of injury during a tornado.
Mobile homes are NEVER a safe place to be during a tornado. You should make plans in advance to evacuate to a storm shelter or to some other location of more substantial shelter.
Regardless of where you head to seek shelter, you need to grab a few things on your way there.
These would include blankets, pillows, coats or something else to use to cover your body and head for protection. You should also bring your phone or weather radio to keep up to date on the storm's progress.
If your place of shelter is somewhere you can usually store items, keeping a first aid kit and some water bottles here is also good advice. If you have children, it can also be helpful to store a toy or book in this area to help keep them calm and occupied during the storm.
At the end of the day having a plan laid out well in advance of stormy weather will help keep you and your family safe. When you know what you are going to do in a situation it helps you keep calm, act quickly and stay safe.
So find your safe place and share your #SafePlaceSelfie West Michigan!
-- Meteorologist Michael Behrens
Email me at: MBehrens@13OnYourSide.com
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