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Safety Nugget Week of August 24 - Watch Out For Thunderstorms!< Back to Blog

Aug 25, 2015
By: C. Wang
Categories: Safety

A thunderstorm complex capable of producing quarter-sized hail and 50 to 60 mph winds was moving through Oklahoma last Friday night and Saturday morning. These storms could produce some locally damaging winds, heavy rainfall and cloud-to-ground lightning, according to National Weather Service forecasts.

WHAT KINDS OF DAMAGE CAN A THUNDERSTORM CAUSE? 1

Under the right conditions, rainfall from thunderstorms causes flash flooding, killing more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning. I found the road in front of my house flooded Saturday morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightning is responsible for many fires around the world each year, and causes fatalities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strong (up to more than 120 mph) straight-line winds associated with thunderstorms knock down trees, power lines and mobile homes.  The thunderstorm also caused power outages and water logging into the floor.

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY 2

Always listen to the radio and television for the latest information and instructions for your area.

A THUNDERSTORM WATCH means a thunderstorm is possible for your area. A THUNDERSTORM WARNING means a thunderstorm is taking place in your area.

IF YOU’RE OUTDOORS:

  • Keep an eye at the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing winds. Lightning often precedes rain, so don’t wait for the rain to begin. If you hear the sound of thunder, go to a safe place immediately.
  • The best place to go is a sturdy building or a car, but make sure the windows in the car are shut. Avoid sheds, picnic areas, baseball dugouts and bleachers.
  • If there is no shelter around you, stay away from trees. Crouch down in the open area, keeping twice as far away from a tree as far as it is tall. Put your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
  • Stay out of water. It’s a great conductor of electricity. Also, don’t stand in puddles. Avoid metal. Stay away from clotheslines, fences, and drop your backpacks because they often have metal on them.

IF YOU’RE INDOORS:

  • Avoid water. It’s a great conductor of electricity, so do not take a shower, wash your hands, wash dishes or do laundry.
  • Do not use a corded telephone. Lightning may strike exterior phone lines.
  • Do not use electric equipment like computers and appliances during a storm.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING:

Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or send for help immediately. The injured person does not carry an electrical charge, so it is okay to touch them.

 

1: Thunderstorm Basics, http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/thunderstorms/

2: Thunderstorm Safety, http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-safety-thunderstorm.htm