How to be Prepared Before and After a Severe Thunderstorm
As storms are moving into our area SERVPRO of Oak Ridge wants our community to know what to do during severe weather as well as how to minimize damage that your home can potentially face. We have compiled information from The Red Cross that covers: How to Prepare for Thunderstorms, Responding Appropriately During a Thunderstorm, and Recovering After a Thunderstorm.
How to Prepare for Thunderstorms
- Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms.
- From the Oak Ridge Fire Department, “Many residences no longer have home phones but rely on their cell phone for communication. Individuals can now text the keyword ‘OAKRIDGE’, without a space, to 99411, and receive a response back containing the Community Notification Enrollment (CNE) link for the City of Oak Ridge.” To learn more about this program please click here!
- Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
- Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods
- Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit
Responding Appropriately During a Thunderstorm
- 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.
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.
- If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
- If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.
- Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.
- Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.
- Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.
- 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. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
- 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.
Recovering After a Thunderstorm
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. You cannot predict how deep the water may be.
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
- Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
- Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
- Watch your animals closely. Keep them under your direct control.
If damage were to occur, SERVPRO of Oak Ridge will be there to help bring you property back to the condition prior to the storm! We are open 24/7, 365!