Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Protecting Yourself from Hail and High Water: Thunderstorm and Hail Safety Tips

Written by Lilly Watson l Communications Assignment Coordinator

Before bringing those May flowers we hope to see in a few short weeks, April showers bring a heightened chance of thunderstorms and hail. These weather outbreaks are able to move from nothing to severe quickly, so it is important to know your steps to safety no matter where you are when it hits your area. It is always safest to be indoors during a storm, but we have tips today on preventative measures you can take to stay as safe as possible no matter where you are caught in the storms.

If you are indoors:

Stay away from windows and sky lights that can break from hail damage.

Avoid using the phone or electrical appliances to steer clear of the danger of electrocution should your house be struck by lightning.

Make sure everyone in your home is accounted for and in one general area.

If you are outdoors:

Seek shelter immediately. If you cannot find anywhere to go, find an object that can help you protect your head from large hail.

Remember that using trees for shelter is a last resort. Trees can lose branches during a storm and isolated trees may attract lighting.

If you are caught driving when the storm hits:

Stop driving. If you can see a safe place close-by to drive to (such as inside of a garage, under a highway overpass, or under a service station awning), do so as soon as you can. Make sure you pull completely off the highway.

Stay in the vehicle until it stops hailing. Your car will furnish reasonable protection.

Pull beneath and overpass or gas station awning to protect your windshield from hail.

Lay across your seat with your back to the car windows to protect your face and eyes. If you have a blanket in your car place it over yourself to guard you should your windshield break from hail damage. Also cover any children in the car, making sure their eyes are covered, and put any very small children beneath you, also covering their eyes.

Avoid low areas or pulling into ditches so your car cannot be swept away by rising water or deep hail.

For more information on Red Cross preparedness, visit redcrossdallas.org.

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