Summer storm safety tips
Drop your camera and get inside. Thunderstorms and tornadoes mean business!
Summer can be beautiful and wondrous but along with warm summer days and nights comes the potential for storms, which can be devastating.
The best summer storm safety tips you can follow are those that prepare you for a worst case scenario. Storms can knock out the power so have a flash light, battery operated radio, a stash of batteries and a cordless phone on hand and kept in an accessible place. Tell your children where these items are located, preferably stored together, so they can access them if they are home alone if a storm knocks out the power. Review summer storm safety tips with your children.
Following a storm, if your home is the only house in the neighborhood that is without power, it may be that a main circuit breaker tripped or you have blown a fuse. When venturing outside, stay far away from downed power lines that may be live and can electrocute you.
If a power line touches your car and you are in the vehicle, stay put. Do not get out of the vehicle. Beep your horn and try to attract attention, indicating that you need help; however, others should stay away from the vehicle and the surrounding ground. Wait for emergency crews to arrive and follow their instructions for getting to safety. If you feel that you must get out of the vehicle because you are in imminent danger from fire or a collision, either hop with both feet or shuffle your feet as you move and get at least 50 feet away from your vehicle.
Lightning can be a real threat to you and to your home. Lightning can split trees and cause fires and, of course, you can be struck by lightning if you are outside. Pools of water, as well as appliances, can be electrically charged by lightning so stay away from the appliances and from water. If appliances have gotten wet, this can cause them to short out and result in a fire hazard.
If you are at the beach or swimming, boating, on a golf course or at a ball park and you see lightning, head for shelter. Listen for and immediately obey lightning horns on a golf course or a ball field. Public broadcasts of summer storm safety tips are critically important. Thunder and lightning go together. If you hear rumbles, be alert to lightning flashes. Keep away from metal objects. If you are in a boat, put down your fishing pole and head for the shore.
When someone is struck by lightning, the human body does not maintain an electrical charge so you can safely touch that person. Begin CPR if the individual is not breathing and call 911. However, if there are live wires or other electrical hazards surrounding the person, do not approach.
Summer thunderstorms can produce deadly lightning so stay indoors, unplug your TV, computers and other appliances and stay a safe distance from windows, door and avoid water. Do not use the telephone during a thunderstorm unless it is vitally important.
If you are outside and there is lightning, go to the lowest spot and crouch. Put your feet together and hold your hands over your ears to prevent damage to the ear from the thunder. Do not get any closer than 15 feet to another person. Avoid open spaces and high ground. Get away from metal equipment as well as wire fences, power tools, metal objects clothes lines, motors, metal pipes and machinery. Do not stand in a small structure that is in an open area. You will not be safe standing near trees, in a picnic shelter or under a canopy.
When a tornado is approaching, take cover immediately. Go to your basement. If you do not have one, move to an interior hallway or room on the lowest level of the house and get underneath a sturdy piece of furniture.
While driving, if you see a tornado do not try to outrun it in your vehicle. Get out of your car and get into a culvert or seek other shelter. If you are in a mobile home, get out and find more secure shelter elsewhere.
References:Capital Electric: safety corner