Three people are still in the hospital after a large tree fell on their tent on Lake Manawa in Council Bluffs over the weekend.
Channel Six News set out to find the most important strategies to stay safe while camping.
Harlan and Kris Borchers have been camping for more than eight years, many times at the Louisville State Recreation Area. They say they’ve been caught up in severe weather almost every time they go camping.
“We had a hail storm that hit so hard it popped holes in the tent and I was actually almost hysterical,” says Kris.
Because of all the problems with tents, they now own a pop up camper which they park away from trees. Harlan Borchers it’s a habit they’ve formed over the years.
“We would never set up that close to the trees because of the fact that there is a possibility and dead limbs could come down on you.”
Graham West is the Assistant Superintendent at Mahoney State Park. He says they inspect the camp grounds for hazardous trees three times a year but also rely on campers to stay alert on what they see.
One big sign to look for are deep cracks at the base of a tree.
“If you notice a big crack in a tree, high winds or lightening could essentially make that tree fall in either direction,” says West.
To spot dead trees, which are more likely to fall during a severe storm, West says look for branches that have no foliage or growth on them.
And always be aware of your surroundings in times of severe weather.