Thunderstorms can create hazards like lightning, flash flooding, tornadoes, strong winds, and hail. Lightning and especially flash flooding are some of the deadliest thunderstorm-related hazards. When a thunderstorm occurs, it’s important to know how to stay safe. Here’s how to survive a thunderstorm outdoors and indoors.
Those who are outdoors should:
- Get inside a sturdy building and avoid small sheds, isolated trees, picnic areas and convertible automobiles.
- If a sturdy shelter is not available:
- Get inside a hardtop automobile and shut the windows. Touching surfaces in the vehicle that conducts electricity should be avoided.
- Don’t attempt to drive to safety as most flash flooding deaths occur in automobiles.
- In a forest, take shelter under small trees surrounded by taller trees or find a dry, low area like a depression or ravine. Lone trees and other tall structures must be avoided.
- Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and pole. Become the smallest target possible by crouching down, head between the knees and ears covered while avoiding as much contact with the ground.
- Move to higher ground if the area is prone to flash flooding or flooding.
- Stay about five metres away from other people.
- Stay out of water, off the beach, and get out of small boats or canoes.
- Avoid metal objects, such as clothes lines, and fences. The backpack should be removed because it likely has metal pieces.
Those who are indoors should:
- Stay away from windows and doors, and porches. Stay in the inner rooms of the building, and keep drapes and blinds closed.
- Avoid using corded phones unless it’s an emergency. Cordless or mobile phones are safe to use.
- Don’t use electrical equipment or appliances – they should be unplugged in case of a power surge.
- Avoid water – don’t take a shower, wash your hands, wash dishes or do laundry. Stay out of the bathtub.
- Don’t lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls as the wire mesh in them can conduct electricity.
- Bring pets inside before the storm arrives.
As lightning is a major risk during thunderstorms, here are more tips to stay safe from lightning. Children can experience panic attacks during thunderstorms — here’s how to calm children during thunderstorms. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.