Staying Safe During a Thunderstorm or Flood
April showers might bring May flowers, but North Central Ohio’s indecisive weather can often bring major water damage into your residential or commercial property. As we transition from spring to summer climates, there are a few different weather-related risks that could cause serious damage to your home or business.
Thunderstorms can occur anywhere at any time of the day, however they are most likely to happen in the afternoon during the spring and summer months. These storms are created by cumulonimbus clouds, and can produce extreme winds, lightning, and hail. Lightning can be very dangerous as well; in fact, more people are killed by lightning every year than they are by tornadoes.
When a thunderstorm is predicted in your area, there are some precautions you can take.
- If you can hear the thunder produced by the storm from your residence or business, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning.
- Keep an eye out for storm signs such as quickly darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increasing winds.
- Postpone any outdoor activities, and avoid driving in storm conditions.
- Find shelter immediately, in the basement of your residence or business if possible, closing all windows and doors securely.
- If you are driving when the storm hits, pull over and take shelter in your car immediately.
- Refrain from bathing, showering, using plumbing, or swimming during storm conditions.
- Ensure that storm drains near your property are kept unobstructed.
- Keep trees around your property trimmed; a severe thunderstorm might cause and straggling branches to break and damage your residence or business.
Spring and early summer is the prime time for flooding. As the seasons change, heavy spring rains can overwhelm rivers and streams and cause flooding. When water rises rapidly along a stream or low-lying area, catastrophic flash flood may occur. It is good to be prepared and have a solid evacuation plan for your family or employees when a flood or flash flood warning is issued.
Some basic flood safety steps include:
- Avoid flood waters at all cost. Just six inches of rapidly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you encounter a flooded road while driving, turn the car around and go another way. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Gather your family or employees, some emergency supplies, and any important belongings and evacuate to higher ground as soon as possible.
- Store your most important items such as photo albums, family heirlooms, and business documents in tightly-sealed plastic containers to ensure that they are well protected from floodwaters. As well consider storing valuables in the attic rather than the basement.
The key when it comes to thunderstorms and floods is to make sure that you have a safety plan in place. Ensure that your family members or employees know to take shelter in the basement during a thunderstorm or to retreat to the highest level of your property during a flood. It is advisable to keep a supply of food, water, flashlights and batteries, and a first aid kit in the case of any emergency.
SERVPRO of North Richland & Ashland Counties is dedicated to taking quality care of restoring your home or business after the inclement weather, so that the health and safety of your family and employees can be your main concern when a flood or thunderstorm hits.