Summer Safety Series – Thunderstorm Safety

Summer Safety Series – Thunderstorm Safety

Storm Risks

The hot summer sun is not only perfect for vacation days, it’s also the perfect environment for creating summer afternoon thunder storms. Between heavy wind, lighting, hail, and flooding, these storms pose multiple safety hazards and take more lives each year than do tornadoes or hurricanes. It is important to know the risks and basic thunderstorm safety principles so you can be prepared for the inevitable summer storms.

Know Your Weather Report Source

Before the storms even arrive, it is of primary importance that you know where and how to get the latest updates on potentially severe weather in your area. Of course, we can all flip on the televised news, but what if the power goes out? Take the time to find your best radio station for weather updates. Many people now also have weather specific apps on their mobile devices. Learn your way around your choice weather app so you understand its alerts before you have to.

RELATED POST: Hurricane Safety

In addition to knowing your best sources for severe weather updates, it is also key to know the difference in watches and warnings. While many storms never reach “Severe” status, those that do come with watches and warnings. A severe weather watch means that there is strong potential for a storm to become severe in your area. Wind speeds, rain fall, hail, etc. are on the cusp of reaching numbers that qualify as severe. A severe weather warning, on the other hand, means that there is already severe weather in your area. In both cases, you should take cover and monitor the situation via your chosen weather update source.

Before, During, and After the Storm

Thunder storms can pop up at any moment. It is important to be prepared to be safe before, during and after the storm.

Before the Storm

  • Learn about your area's thunderstorm risk

  • Identify safe buildings you can take shelter in near where you live and work

  • Trim or cut down trees that could be at risk of falling on your home

  • Consider purchasing surge protectors, lightning rods, or other storm safety systems

During the Storm

  • Always go indoors. If you are outside, take shelter in a sturdy, nearby building

  • Pay attention to weather reports and updates

  • Avoid running water or using landline phones as electricity from lightning can travel through plumbing and phone lines

  • Unplug electrical devices and secure outdoor furniture

  • If boating or swimming, get to dry land and seek shelter immediately

  • If driving, avoid flooded roadways. Make sure your headlights are on, but keep your hazard lights off. Drive slowly and cautiously

After the Storm

  • Be aware of fallen trees or power lines

  • Listen to your weather reports for any concerns of flash flooding, etc.

Thunderstorms are an inevitable part of summer weather. Be prepared ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry in the moment. It’s easy to forget the importance of storm safety when storms seem to pop up so frequently, so take the time today to review your storm safety action plan.

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