Each year, the majority of the United States will experience at least one thunderstorm. While they are more prevalent in certain areas than others, due to the differences in the climate and weather conditions, they can also prove to be very dangerous if precautions are not taken.
Thunderstorms, also known as electrical storms, or thundershowers, can include numerous different hazards, such as: strong winds, hail, flash flooding, super cell storms, tornadoes, and lightning. In fact, lightning kills about 51 Americans each year. In addition, flash flooding is responsible for the deaths of 140 individuals yearly! Ultimately, this makes practicing safety during each thunderstorm a must, especially for children.
How to Stay Safe Before, During, and After a Thunderstorm
How to Stay Safe Before the Thunderstorm
- Secure all outdoor belongings to avoid them from blowing around and causing property damage.
- Remove any large debris from the yard, such as large branches, construction and gardening tools, etc.
- Shut all outside windows and doors.
- Unplug all electrical equipment.
- Bring all pets inside.
Staying Safe When Not at Home During the Storm:
- When in the car, close the windows. Do not touch any metal part of the car. Also, do not attempt to drive anywhere safe as flash floods are known for causing severe damage to cars.
- When in an open area, find lower ground as fast as possible that is away from tall objects. Crouch down with your head between your knees while keeping your ears covered.
- If you are in a forest, find an area with smaller trees that are covered by taller ones. If possible, get to lower ground.
- When with a group of people, try to stay at least 15 feet from them at all times.
- Stay away from all metal objects, such as outside equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, bikes, etc.
- Stay out of all areas with water, including the beach, lake, pond, ocean, etc.
How to Stay Safety at Home During the Storm
- Stay away from all windows, doors, porches, and gazebos. Close all blinds and drapes and stay in the center of the home.
- Do not turn on the water or any water-related appliances, such as the sink, washing machine, dishwasher, hose, etc.
- Do not lie or lean against any concrete floors or walls as they may contain wires that conduct electricity.
Safety After the Storm
- Do not drive through a flooded area.
- Do not drive anywhere with large amounts of debris on the road.
- Help others if they need assistance.
- As pets can be afraid of storms, keep them indoors.
- Report all fallen power lines.
Recovering After the Storm
As you can see, there are many precautions that can be taken to be prepared for and stay safe during a storm. But unfortunately, some storms may be strong enough to still cause damage to a home or building. While strong winds are able to rip off roofs, siding, doors, etc., flash floods are also able to seep into foundations and cause severe water damage.
If you have found significant damage to your property after a thunderstorm, do not hesitate to call for professional water damage restoration or storm damage cleanup services. ServiceMaster is a nationwide restoration and cleaning company that is available 24/7 to provide emergency assistance to all homes and businesses in the area. Contact your local provider for more information about how they can help if your property has sustained critical damage.