Thunderstorms can be a threat to life and belongings, no matter where you live. They are most common in spring and summer, but can happen any time.
Did you know that lightning kills an average of 27 people a year in the US and injures many more? Heavy rains can cause flash floods. Sometimes hail and tornadoes can form in thunderstorms; these can cause expensive property damage.
Here are some tips to help you survive thunderstorm season:
- If you are outdoors when a severe thunderstorm warning is given, or if you see lightning as a storm approaches, either get into a car with a roof or a sturdy building. While it is tempting to shelter under a tree to stay dry, that’s not safe. Lightning often strikes the tallest object around.
- When indoors during a thunderstorm, don’t run water or use a landline phone. Lightning’s electricity can travel through phone lines and plumbing.
- Unplug computers and other appliances to keep them safe from an electric surge.
- If you are in a car during a thunderstorm, avoid flooded roads. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet if you try to wade in it. A foot of floodwater can sweep your car away.
- If a tornado warning is issued during a thunderstorm, go into the basement or the lowest level of the building, preferably in a room without windows. Stay there until the All Clear is issued.
- When planning outdoor activities, check the FEMA app for real-time alerts from the National Weather Service. Learn about the meaning of alerts and warnings (the URL is not a typo) and sign up for alerts in your local community.
Learn more about thunderstorm, lightning, and hail safety from FEMA,
Remember, it’s great to get out and be part of nature, but Nature isn’t always gentle.