Don't Get Caught in the Rain
The coming of spring brings longer days, warmer weather and blooming flowers. But when temperatures change it can also signal the arrival of severe weather season. Planning ahead before a storm strikes can help keep you and your family protected and ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency situation.
Fortunately, planning ahead doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Just keep a few tips in mind before, during and after the storm.
Before the storm
- Charge all phones and other communications devices before inclement weather occurs, since using electronics while they are connected to the power grid during a storm can be dangerous.
- Purchase lightning rods, surge protectors or lightning protection systems to safeguard home electronics and appliances.
- Identify safe areas in your home, workplace or other areas you frequent, and discuss emergency plans with your family.
- Cut down or trim trees that could fall on your home during high winds or lightning strikes.
- Park vehicles inside garages or underneath carports to protect them from hail and other falling objects. Provide adequate shelter for pets.
- Stock up on water and nonperishable food items in case extended power outages or road blockages occur. Also, maintain a supply of batteries and flashlights.
- Secure outdoor furniture and other loose items that high winds can topple.
- Monitor local weather forecasts through media outlets, purchase and program a weather radio, and sign up for emergency notifications through emails or phone calls and texts.
During the storm
- Continue to monitor weather reports, and stay away from doors and windows. Seek shelter in safe areas whenever a severe thunderstorm approaches.
- Do not use landline phones, running water or electronics. Lightning can travel through phone lines and plumbing.
- If driving during a thunderstorm, slow down and use caution. If a vehicle possesses a fully enclosed hard top, it is considered a safe structure.
- If outside and unable to make it indoors safely, seek shelter in low points since lightning strikes the tallest available object. Stay away from trees, water and metal objects.
- Stay indoors if thunder roars.
- Unplug appliances and electronics.
- Do not drive on flooded roadways.
After the storm
- Stay at least 35 feet away from downed power lines and any objects that may be touching a downed line. Report any fallen lines to authorities.
- Continue to listen to weather and media reports, and be aware of continued dangers from flash flooding, downed trees or fallen power lines that could block roadways.