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Thunderstorms

Emergency Response Guidelines


A thunderstorm develops when warm moist air near the earth’s surface rises quickly and cools. These storms are often accompanied by hail, lightning, high winds, heavy rain and tornadoes. Thunderstorms are usually over in an hour although a series of thunderstorms can last for several hours.


Indoors

  1. Stay away from doors and windows;
  2. DO NOT use a corded telephone, except in an emergency. Cordless and cellular telephones are safer to use;
  3. Take off head sets;
  4. Turn off, unplug and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools and televisions. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage; and
  5. Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.


Outdoors

  1. Take shelter, preferably in a building; failing this, in a depressed area such as a ditch or a culvert, but never under a tree.
  2. In heavy rain, be on the look out for flash floods.
  3. Do not ride bicycles, motorcycles or golf carts or use metal shovels or golf clubs, as they conduct electricity.


Safety Tips

  1. If a thunderstorm watch/warning has been issued consider postponing any outdoor activities;
  2. Remember the 30 – 30 lightning safety rule – go indoors if you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder; and
  3. Rubber soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. The steel frame of a hard topped vehicle does provide increased protection if you are not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside

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