Do you know what you should do during a storm when the outdoor warning sirens are blaring? Before you can determine what the specific emergency may be — wind, hail or tornado — it is important to know about the possible sources of danger that you should step away from for immediate safety.
Understand the Elements and Areas of Danger
Whenever there is thunder, there is lightning, followed often by rain. Every year many people are killed in the U.S. by lightning strikes, most during summer months when a high number of people are outside. Since water is a conductor of electricity, it makes swimming, boating and fishing particularly vulnerable activities. At the first instance of lightning detection or warning of a storm, immediately move away from water and seek shelter.
Observe These Precautions When You Are Outdoors
If you are unable to find shelter during a storm, do the following:
- Move away from trees, telephone poles, and metallic structures and objects.
- A vehicle with a metal roof can provide safety, but be sure to close the doors and windows and not touch any metallic objects or door parts.
- Stay away from concrete floors and walls as they may contain metal bars or mesh.
- Do not use an umbrella as it may make you the tallest structure in the place and vulnerable to a strike.
Take These Steps When Indoors
While better than being outside, it is still not entirely safe inside a structure, as lightning can enter a building either through outgoing pipes and wires or directly. To prevent a strike inside the house, follow these steps:
- Do not shower or wash hands and dishes.
- Avoid using the washer and dryer or any other means of contact with the plumbing.
- Do not stand near doors or windows.
- Avoid electrical wires and appliances and landline phones.
If you have questions about storm safety precautions, lightning detection, outdoor warning sirens or any other area, we are happy to address all queries. Please feel free to join the conversation below in the comments section.