Thunderstorm, Flood, Power Outages & How to Prepare

Thunderstorm, Flood, Power Outages & How to Prepare

Justin Gray9/ 7/21

by Justin Gray

Thunderstorm already hitting your area - is this blog too late? Nope.

Take a look at some tips on how to prepare for a weather-related disasters like thunderstorms and the ensuing threats they pose... and what you can do right now if one has made landfall.

A Thunderstorm is happening now

Since the thunderstorm is hitting your area right now, you should: 

  • Listen to the radio/tune in to a news channel on your TV as they will have the most up-to-date information on what is happening.
  • If you have a NOAA weather radio, tune to your local service frequency
  • If outdoors, avoid seeking shelter under a tree or in a makeshift shelter like a shed, tent, or picnic shelter.
  • Move indoors - be sure to move pets inside too
  • Stay out of large rooms (like a gym or auditorium) if high winds are present
  • Keep away from wiring and plumbing: if the building is struck, lighting will travel through the building's plumbing and wiring.
  • Avoid using sink, shower, electrical outlets connected to the building - unplug your phone charger and laptop! 
  • Stay away from windows as high winds or hail may damage them
  • If in a car, stay inside with the windows rolled up. If it is safe to do so, drive to the nearest shelter.
  • Stay indoors. Many victims struck by lighting have admitted to leaving shelter too soon.
  • If there is a lot of rain and flooding is possible, avoid sheltering in lower areas like an underground basement

Thunderstorm: Knowledge = Safety

  • When you hear thunder, move indoors.
  • Avoid open areas like fields, parks, and baseball fields
  • Avoid "taller" objects in an area stay clear of isolated trees, power/utility poles
  • If in a group of people, spread out. A group of people struck by lighting will likely end with multiple casualties.
  • Avoid metal conductors like a fence as lighting can travel long distances down it
  • Lighting CAN STRIKE TWICE!
  • Lighting can strike outside of the area where it is raining
  • If you hear thunder, lighting can strike you where you are.


What to do if someone is STRUCK by LIGHTNING

  • Call 9-1-1
  • If possible, move the victim indoors or to a safer location.
  • Give First Aid
  • If person is not breathing, begin CPR if so trained
  • If the situation warrants, use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)


Preparing for a Thunderstorm

  • Have supplies ready in case of a power outage: batteries, water, NOAA weather radio, flashlights, food, power supply.
  • Avoid outdoor activities if thunderstorms are expected or in the area
  • Avoid using a corded phone as lighting can travel through its wiring
  • Thick plastic sheeting and duct tape are essential if high winds damage windows, you can use these to make temporary repairs
  • Listen to the radio or watch news channels for the latest updates
  • Secure loose objects around the exterior of your house (like a tarp, small debris, or other objects that can become a projectile when airborne).
  • Move valuable objects indoors or under a sturdy structure
  • Close all windows and doors (including interior doors)
  • Know where your family member are and have a plan

After a Storm

  • Contact loved ones to ensure they're safe. Texting and social media messages are usually the most reliable way (as phone lines are congested)
  • Continue to listen to the news/NOAA radio for updates
  • If going outside, carefully inspect damage to your house and the surrounding area. BE AWARE of downed power lines, broken water pipes, and broken gas lines. 
  • Report any immediate life-threatening issues such as downed power lines or broken gas pipes: Call 9-1-1
  • If you are trained or able to, help your neighbors. You can provide first aid or aid in a clean-up if it is safe to do so.


Resources in blog:

National Weather Service

American Red Cross

Emergency Power Supply

Emergency Lighting

More in-depth blog about flooding


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