Here are some tips for weathering the storms:
- GO INSIDE! If you hear distant thunder or see a flash of light, get indoors immediately. Seek shelter in a sturdy building, not a lean-to or outhouse. If staying in a car is your only option, do not touch any of the metal on the car. If you cannot find shelter, stay away from tall, isolated objects such as trees, poles, or posts. Make sure that you are not the tallest object by crouching down. Do not lie flat on the ground and try to keep out of puddles or other standing water.
- Always keep a battery powered radio and flashlight handy. Check or change the batteries frequently.
- Keep a supply of candles on hand for power failures.
- If you lose power, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
- Turn off or unplug sensitive electronic equipment and appliances.
- In an accessible location, keep a supply of non-perishable foods (cereal, canned fruits, canned meats, and drinking water), utensils, manual can opener, medications, and first-aid kit.
- When a Tornado threatens, leave your windows slightly ajar.
- Know where to take shelter and ensure that all family members know about your emergency storm safety plan and the location of emergency supplies. Include in the emergency plan provisions for family members with special medical needs, especially those on life support equipment and vital medications.
- Have fire safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher and baking soda available.
- Do not take a shower, do dishes, use a phone or a computer during a thunderstorm. Lightning can strike the plumbing or electrical wires that connect to your house and give you an electrical shock if you use these items.
- Stay away from windows.
- Secure loose objects outside your home that may become flying objects during high winds.
- Know the difference between weather watches and warnings:
- A WATCH means that a storm, flood, or tornado is POSSIBLE
- A WARNING means that s storm, flood, or tornado has been sighted or has been indicated by radar. TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY!
- After the storm passes, wait about half an hour before leaving the house. Lightning can still be prevalent in the sky, and more storms may come. If there are downed power lines anywhere around you, DO NOT touch them. Call your electrical company and have them take care of it.
- Keep an eye on large trees- even healthy ones- that could damage your home if felled in a storm. Cut them back if necessary.