A rumble of thunder, a bolt of lightning, a sudden change in the atmosphere – these are telltale signs that a storm is a-brewin’ and could be heading right your way in the near future.
While you might feel the desire to reenact Twister and go chase down the storm to make your Instagram a little snazzier, we’re here to tell you that it’s a really bad idea. In fact, we want you to stay safe during inclement weather, so we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of 10 handy tips to keep you and your loved ones protected from those wicked seasonal storms roll around:
Keep an Eye on Your Trees – Have you noticed that some of the trees in your yard have a few dead or rotting limbs? If so, take the time before any storms come to take them down. If one of your trees appears to be rotting or is dead, remove it before a storm does that for you (and causes some unnecessary damage to your property).
Prepare Before the Storm – Any thunderstorm can cause damage to your home or belongings. If a storm is on the way, take the time to shut any open windows and secure all outside doors. Don’t forget to tie down or relocate anything that could be blown away outside, and unplug your electronics to avoid a possible surge.
Beware of Flash Flooding – According to the National Weather Service, flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm hazard, and it’s also the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the nation. If you notice that the road ahead is covered with water, turn around and take an alternate route.
Invest in Surge Protectors – When lightning strikes your home, it can surge through your power outlets, which can damage any appliances attached to them. Take care of your electronics by investing in a surge protector, especially in rooms that use a lot of electricity. These handy devices help redirect excess electricity toward a grounding wire and neutralizing it, keeping your home and everything within safe!
Stay Away From Metal and Electrical Equipment – If you paid attention in your earth science class, you probably remember that metal conducts electricity. Should you be handling metal or electrical equipment during a storm, you run a real possibility of electrocution. Don’t use telephones, laptops, or computers unless it’s an emergency. Stay away from other dangerous objects like aluminum bats, golf clubs, bicycles, and any devices that are plugged in for recharging until the storm passes.
Delay That Shower – It’s also dangerous to come into contact with water whenever a storm is in the area. While using the restroom and washing your hands is minimally risky, taking a bath or shower and doing the laundry is unsafe. That’s right, we’re giving you a real reason for you to put off doing the laundry! Pay close attention to the weather to make sure that it’s safe to begin your chores or take a shower.
Stay Inside – We know. You just want to go outside on the porch and watch the storm roll on by, but the safest thing for you to do is to head back inside and to stay far away from the windows and doors. Your body carries a slight natural electrical charge, which can attract lightning if you’re the strongest charge in the area. We recommend staying inside near the center of a ground-floor room, especially during a particularly nasty storm system.
Avoid Storm-Damaged Areas – After the storm, it’s best to keep away from any areas that have fallen branches and downed powered lines in the streets. If you happen to see any live power lines on the ground, report them to the police immediately.
Steer Clear of Trees – Should you find yourself outside when a storm arrives, maintain a healthy distance from natural lightning rods like tall, isolated trees. You should also avoid being near small structures in open areas. These objects can increase the likelihood of lightning striking near you!
Take a Storm Spotter Class – They’re fun, educational, open to the public, and free! You’ll learn how to look at cloud formations and identify potentially dangerous weather situations. Besides learning how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe during inclement weather, you can also become a volunteer storm spotter for the National Weather Service! Learn more and find a class near you here!
We hope that these tips will help you stay safe during those summertime storms. If we left out any handy pieces of advice, be sure to let us know in the comment below!