June 24 through 30 is National Lightning Safety Awareness Week and, even with scattered thunderstorms in the forecast, there are many people that may not be prepared for what to do during severe weather. Huron County Public Health (HCPH) is urging all residents to be ready for thunderstorms, lightning, and other severe weather conditions this summer.
According to Ready.gov, lightning is among the top three storm-related causes of death in the United States. Lightning can strike as far as 25 miles away from a thunderstorm. So “when thunder roars, stay indoors,” and continue to stay indoors for at least 30 minutes from the last time thunder was heard.
Being prepared for a storm and knowing what the emergency alerts mean can help people take quick and appropriate action.
A thunderstorm watch tells the public when and where a thunderstorm or tornado is likely to occur. When a watch is issued consider postponing outdoor activities, shutting windows and outside doors, and securing other outdoor objects from being blown away. Gather emergency kits and supplies to be easily accessed should a thunderstorm occur.
A thunderstorm warning means that thunderstorms have been reported or spotted. When a thunderstorm warning is issued take action:
* Take shelter if outside
* Stay away from windows and doors
* Don’t use corded phones or touch electrical equipment or cords.
* Avoid taking a shower, washing dishes, or doing laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
* Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach, or open water
* Avoid contact with metal
* Avoid concrete surfaces. There can be metal wire and bars within or under the concrete that can conduct electricity.
* If inside a vehicle roll up windows and avoid touching metal surfaces, the ignition, or cellphones or other devices that are plugged in for charging.
Knowing what to do during a storm can help keep Huron County families safe this summer.
For more information about emergency preparedness visit www.huroncohealth.com or www.ready.gov.