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Safety Tips For Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, and Lightning

If you live in an area that experiences tornados and/or electrical storms from time to time, I hope that the following safety tips, courtesy of Environment Canada, prove to be useful for you and your loved ones someday.

Safety Tips For Thunderstorms and Lightning

  1. Before the storm hits, unplug all non-essential electrical appliances such as computers, cordless phones, and television sets.
  2. Do not take a bath or shower. Minimize contact with all of the water faucets in your home.
  3. If you are outdoors, get inside a building or vehicle as soon as possible.
  4. Do not stay under tall objects like poles and trees.
  5. Do not stay in wide, open spaces.
  6. If a building or vehicle are not available, stay as low to the ground as possible.
  7. If you are with other people, spread out before getting low to the ground.
  8. Be aware that even if a person has no pulse after being struck by lighting, CPR can sometimes be effective at restoring one's cardiovascular system.
  9. Stay away from water and objects that conduct water - examples include golf clubs and tractors.
  10. If you are in your car and a power line comes down and into contact with your vehicle, do not come out. If possible, wait for assistance. Coming out of your car when a power line is in contact with it can cause a significant electrical shock.

Safety Tips For Tornadoes and Severe Winds

  1. If you are indoors, close your windows and doors and stay away from them and all exterior walls.
  2. If possible, go under a stairwell or to a small interior room (like a bathroom or closet) on the lowest floor of the building you are in.
  3. Alternatively, crouch under a large and heavy piece of furniture (like a strong table).
  4. If you are in an apartment building, avoid the elevators and windows. Try to get to the lowest floor possible.
  5. If available, protect your head with a large cushion or mattress.
  6. If you are outdoors, try to enter a building as soon as possible.
  7. If no buildings are available, find and stay in a low, dry spot, like a ditch or ravine and beware of flooding.
  8. After a tornado passes, be on the lookout for downed power lines that may still be active.

If you are aware of any other safety tips for electrical thunderstorms and tornadoes, I would appreciate you sharing them in the comments section below.


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Anonymous said...

Always Have some extra jugs with water in them in case of tainted water and we can live without food for quite some time water maybe a couple of days and air 4 minutes.
Monday, August 07, 2006 12:01:02 PM
Anonymous said...

Read your info with interest re thunder and lightning stors. Last Sunday morning we had a storm here in Surrey, BC. It was very local (friends in a three mile radius did not hear or see storm except in the distance. Lightning struck a 100 foot fir tree in neighbour's field and "the strike tore a two foot strip of bark from the entire length of the tree" as reported in our local paper. It is an awesome sight. During storm I was ensconced in the basement trying to keep my 'fearless' Rottweiler pet dog calm. Such storms are not usual occurences in our neck of the woods and everyone should be aware of danger and what to do during such an event.
Monday, August 07, 2006 12:46:28 PM
Anonymous said...

30/30 Lightning Safety Rule

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service):

Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
Monday, August 07, 2006 3:57:35 PM
Anonymous said...

>If a building or vehicle are not available, stay as low to the ground as possible.

This would imply that lying down is best, which is not true. Experts say get to the lowest lying ground and if your hair raises (lightning strike is immanent), crouch down on the balls of your feet to minimize your contact with the ground.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006 3:00:37 AM
Anonymous said...

Under "Torndado safety #7", I have read research that a vehicle is a safer spot than a low, dry place during a tornado. Vehicles are designed to be aerodynamically sound and can withstand a tornado better than lying in a ditch, or better than staying in a trailer or mobile home.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006 7:38:15 AM
Anonymous said...

Your list should include (for any disaster) having an agreed-upon meeting place or relative's phone number at which all family members separated by the disaster can gather.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006 3:30:14 PM
Anonymous said...

I grew up in tornado alley where we spent just about every night in the basement from May through August because at least four nights out of the week we were in a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch. The basement is by far the safest place, and you should go to the corner of the basement which is the direction from which the storm/tornado is coming. If its a storm from the southwest, which most tornadoes are, you go to the southwest corner of the basement. The idea is that you would be protected in the corner as the winds blow over it and any debris would be thrown around following the path of the storm.

Also, lightening can also come through a regular phone line, as well as a cable connection. Lightening struck the fence in my front yard last week and crashed my computer and TV. Everything was unplugged except the cable cord. A word to the wise!
Tuesday, September 05, 2006 10:08:48 PM