TO PREPARE AND SAFELY WEATHER A THUNDERSTORM
The following information is provided by the American
Red Cross, FEMA
and United States
Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and
thunderstorms are dangerous! Every
thunderstorm produces lightning. Associated
dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes,
strong winds, hail and flash flooding.
Tunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms
are possible in and near the watch area. Stay
informed and be ready to act if a severe
thunderstorm warning is issued.
Thunderstorm Warning - Severe weather has
been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.
Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and
To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit
that includes food, water, battery-powered
radio, sanitation and personal hygiene items,
medications, flashlight, extra batteries, first
aid supplies, copies of personal documents
(medication list and pertinent medical
information, deed/lease to home, birth
certificates, insurance policies), cell phone
with chargers, family and emergency contact
information and extra cash.
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that
could fall and cause injury or damage.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or
- Get inside a home, building or hard top
automobile (not a convertible). Although
you may be injured if lightning strikes your
car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than
- Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires
do not protect you from being struck by
lightning. However, the steel frame of a
hard-topped vehicle provides increased
protection if you are not touching metal.
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If
shutters are not available, close window blinds,
shades or curtains.
- Unplug any electronic equipment well before
the storm arrives.
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any
outside buildings that house them are protected
in the same way as your home.
If a thunderstorm and lightning are occurring in
your area, you should:
- Listen to local news or battery-powered NOAA
Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch
for signs of a storm, like darkening skies,
lightning flashes or increasing wind.
- Avoid contact with corded phones. Use a
corded telephone only for emergencies.
Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to
- Avoid contact with electrical equipment or
- Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash
your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash
dishes, and do not do laundry. Plumbing
and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off
- Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean
against concrete walls.
- Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall,
isolated tree in an open area
- Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach or a
boat on the water.
- Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid
isolated sheds, picnic shelters, or other small
structures in open areas.
- Avoid contact with anything metal - tractors,
farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, glof
clubs and bicycles.
- If you are driving, try to safely exit the
roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and
turn on emergency flashers until the heavy rain
ends. Avoid touching metal or other
surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside
After a thunderstorm or lightning strike, you
- Never drive through a flooded roadway.
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
- Continue to listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to
local radio and television stations for updated
information or instructions.
- Help people who may require special
assistance, such as infants, children and the
elderly or disabled.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report
- Watch your animals closely. Keep them
under your direct control.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR
AND HANDLE POWER OUTAGES FOR MEDICAL DEVICES THAT
REQUIRE ELECTRICITY. Go to:
Sudden power outages can be frustrating and
troublesome, especially when they last a long
time. If a power outage is 2 hours or less,
you need not be concerned about losing your
perishable foods. For prolonged power outages,
though, there are steps you can take to minimize
food loss and to keep all members of your household
as comfortable as possible.
Keep food as safe
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as
much as possible. First use perishable
food from the refrigerator. An unopened
refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4
- Then use food from the freezer. A full
freezer will keep the temperature for about 48
hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door
- Use your non-perishable foods and staples
after using food from the refrigerator and
- If it looks like the power outage will
continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice
for your freezer items.
- Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it
covered at all times.
- Turn off and unplug all unneccessary
electrical equipment, including sensitive
- Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like
stoves), equipment or electronics you were using
when the power went out. When power comes
back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
- Leave one light on so you'll know when the
power comes back on.
- When using a portable generator, connect the
equipment you want to power directly to the
outlets on the generator. Do not connect a
portable generator to a home's electrical
- If you are considering getting a generator,
get advise from a professional, such as an
electrician. Make sure that the generator
you purchase is rated for the power that you
think you need.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or
other gasoline, propane, natural gas or
charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage,
basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed
area. Locate unit away from doors,
windows, and vent that could allow carbon
monoxide to come indoors.
SOURCES: Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA), American Red Cross, and NOAA
PREPARED BY: 211/lb
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: July2013