As we continue our Lake Safe series, the National Weather Service offers safety tips in relation to storms and severe weather. Learn how you and your loved ones can stay alert and stay safe on the lake:

Lightning Safety

Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year. Lightning kills an average of 49 people in the United States each year, and hundreds more are severely injured.

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, wind mills, etc.)
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

 

 Severe Thunderstorm Safety

A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour.

  • Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors. Don’t wait for rain. Lightning can strike out of a clear blue sky.
  • Avoid electrical equipment and corded telephones. Cordless phones, cell phones and other wireless handheld devices are safe to use.
  • Keep away from windows.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends.
  • If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

Flood Safety

  • Get out of areas subject to flooding and get to higher ground immediately.
  • Do not drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade. Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide many hazards. A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in a matter of seconds.
  • Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 for help.
  • Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises –get out. Stay out of water that may have electricity in it.
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Be sure to lock your home as you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.
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