Thunderstorms are common severe weather events. In fact the U.S. gets over 100,000 thunderstorms each year, according to figures from insurance giant Nationwide. While it might be easy to discount the dangers of a thunderstorm, do keep these five safety tips front of mind to keep you and your family safe when a storm hits.


Seek Shelter

When a severe thunderstorm strikes seek shelter inside of your home, or other sturdy structure. Be sure to stay away from windows, skylights, and doors. Don’t lie on concrete floors during a storm, since lightning can travel through metal wires or bars (rebar reinforcement) within the concrete.


Don’t Bathe

As strange as it may sound, be sure not to shower, bathe, or even hand wash dishes during a storm because lightening can travel through plumbing. (The kids may appreciate this if it’s their night to clean the dishes).


Avoid Using Landlines

Steer clear of using landline phones during a thunderstorm, since telephone lines are conductors of electricity. Cell phones, however, are safe to use.

Watch for Downed Power Lines

If you’re driving when a thunderstorm hits keep an eye out for downed power and utility lines. Avoid standing water as much as possible and reduce your speed to prevent hydroplaning. Don’t ride bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, or other small vehicles during a storm.

If you’re outdoors on-foot when a thunderstorm strikes, perhaps camping or hiking, do your best to vacate elevated terrain, like hills and peaks. If lightning strikes nearby squat on the balls of your feet, place your hands on your knees, and put your head between your knees. This will help lessen your chances of becoming a target by making yourself as small as possible and minimizing your contact with the ground.


Stay Tuned In…

Be sure to check your local weather forecast or a weather radio for info and updates on emergency watches or warnings from the National Weather Service. Stay aware of approaching storms, especially before heading outdoors—you may decide to postpone excursions.


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