Be Prepared for a Storm
There are approximately 1,800 thunderstorms occurring at any time around the world. That equals about 16 million thunderstorms per year. While each is only about 15 miles in diameter and lasts around 30 minutes, thunderstorms can wreak havoc on communities, so it pays to keep an ear to the forecast and an eye to the sky to know when one of these potentially devastating storms might blow through your area.
Thunderstorms can produce lightning, flash floods, hail, straight line winds and tornadoes all which can be deadly and lead to hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage very year in the United States.
Steps you take now can keep you safe during a severe storm. Know the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and warning. A watch means there is the possibility of storms in your area. A warning means a storm has been reported or is imminent and you should take cover.
The National Weather Service offers these tips to make sure you are prepared for spring and summer storms:
- Assemble necessary supplies for a potential outage (for a suggested list, visit SafeElectricity.org)
- Check the forecast and the hazardous weather outlook.
- Watch for signs of an approaching storm.
- If a storm is approaching, turn on a weather radio or an AM/FM radio for information.
- If a storm is imminent, stay inside until it passes.
If you find yourself outdoors during a storm, remember that if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning. If possible, get inside or into a hard top vehicle—not a convertible. If safe shelter is not available, find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. If you are indoors when a storm strikes, stay away from windows, and go to the lowest level of your home. Unplug unnecessary appliances, and don’t use corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe.
To learn more, visit SafeElectricity.org.