Although the summer may make you think of family vacations, spring break, and sunshine, for many others, the season is more about storms. The American summer is not without its thunderstorms, but they may be very deadly. Every year, lightning causes between 55 and 60 fatalities and 300 injuries. Extreme weather can be dangerous for your home and for you. In order to stay afloat, be sure to keep up with any storm safety advice.
Beware of Lightning
If you ever experience “tingly hair” or hear a buzzing sound while outside, this indicates that lightning is about to strike. In this situation, crouching on the balls of your feet while keeping your head down and your ears covered is the safest move to do. This will lessen your chance of getting struck and, in the worst-case scenario, your injuries.
You will be better protected, but you still run a considerable risk. Go indoors as soon as you can after the sensation has subsided. Do not rely on this strategy to keep you secure because you are still in risk and should avoid unnecessary travel.
Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail
Before a storm hits, it’s critical to put all storm protection advice into action. Always pay attention to the local emergency alert system. This will inform you of any impending storms and their potential intensity.
No matter how secure you believe your house to be, if a warning to leave is given, you must leave right away. However, not all storms call for evacuating. Staying inside is occasionally safer. For instance, if there is lightning, you should follow the 30/30 rule and enter the house if you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder, but wait to exit until 30 minutes have passed since the previous thunderclap.
Here is a helpful checklist of items to have if it is safe for you to stay at home:
- Nonperishable foods (think canned food, pasta and even peanut butter! Make sure a tin opener is kept with these)
- Bottled water (approximately 1 gallon per day – have a supply for two weeks in stock)
- Flashlights (and batteries in case the ones in the flashlights run out)
- First Aid Kid (and all medicines that any family members may require)
- Waterproof Containers (make sure your important documents are not ruined by floods)
- Whistle (in case you need to signal for help)
We advise establishing a storm safety strategy in addition to pre-stocking on these necessities. Why not create an emergency plan for your home too? Every school and office has one.
Make sure any kids are aware of what to do and where to go during a storm. You can use a roleplay to demonstrate safety precautions to kids in order to gain their attention. You could even print out these suggestions and keep them in your designated safe meeting spot at home.
Eliminating threats outside your home is a component of having a storm safety strategy in place. Here are a few of our top suggestions:
- Maintain your yard as needed (e.g. trim tree branches to limit breakages).
- Any loose things in the yard should be secured or removed. Even though it may be summer, it is safer to take down and store play equipment like slides, a swing set, or a trampoline as well as outdoor decorations.
- Make sure there are no loose tiles because they may fall.
- Keep an eye on your trashcan to prevent rubbish from being flung across your lawn.
Braving the Storm
When a storm really arrives after you’ve made your preparations, it’s crucial to maintain composure. Keep in mind a few fundamental storm safety measures. Among the most important things to keep in mind are:
- DO NOT LEAVE THE ROOM! This should go without saying; always wait until the storm has passed and the local weather has declared it to be officially safe before doing so.
- Avoid looking out of windows since they might break at any time.
- Avoid touching electrical wiring, especially if there has been water damage.
- Avoid taking a bath or shower; being safe is more vital than bathing.
After the Storm
You must remain vigilant even after the storm has passed. When it is deemed safe to leave your home, be cautious of the following dangers and remain vigilant:
- Never attempt to navigate a flooded road. Do not believe that everything will be fine because you cannot know how deep the water may be and you risk becoming stuck.
- Avoid the severely damaged areas of the storm’s path. Debris falling still poses a threat.
- For the most recent news or directions, keep listening to local radio and television stations or NOAA Weather Radio.
- Recognize other people. Don’t forget to aid anyone who might need particular care, such as infants, youngsters, the elderly, or persons with disabilities.
- Avoid downed power wires and report them right once.
- Watch out for your pets. At all times, maintain control over them. It’s possible that the storm also caused them distress.
In the end, preparedness and maintaining composure are crucial. Be careful!
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