Safety Rules and Tips for Thunderstorm Season: Stay Safe and Healthy in the Storm



SeasonalhealthNo matter what springs up, stay prepared with these severe weather safety tips:

  • Expect the unexpected. Storm cells that produce thunderstorms and tornadoes can develop over the course of a couple of hours. Tornadoes are notoriously unpredictable, sometimes leaving one home untouched while destroying the neighboring house. When in doubt, seek shelter until all reports indicate the skies are clear.
  • Think ahead. Before traveling away from a safe area, check the weather and pay particular attention to watches and warnings. A watch means that conditions are right for dangerous weather to form, while a warning means that the weather event is currently in progress.
  • Prep your car and your home. Keep a battery-operated flashlight,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio and extra batteries in an easily accessible location. Store prescriptions and medications along with a standard first aid kit in case you are trapped inside your home. Consider taking food, water and a blanket with you if you must travel by car during severe weather.
  • Know where to seek safety. Did you know that taking shelter under an overpass during a tornado is extremely dangerous? Review the safety protocols that are most appropriate to your region, and make sure you aren’t relying on outdated or incorrect information.
  • Talk to your family. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to react during a severe weather situation and knows where the emergency supplies are located. In the event that you become separated, plan ahead to meet at a predetermined location.

No one wants to use emergency severe weather supplies or enact an emergency preparedness plan. However, it is much safer to have one you never use than to be caught unaware during a flash flood, tornado or hurricane.

Running for Safety

If you have a regular outdoor running routine, curbing your exercise for a little rain or thunder may not seem worth disrupting your habit. However, more than 50 runners die and hundreds more are injured every year while running during thunderstorms.

If you hear thunder, move your run indoors or postpone to a later, safer date. Wait 30 minutes after the last thunderclap before considering the coast clear. If you are caught outdoors during a thunderstorm, seek shelter inside a hardtop vehicle or sturdy building as soon as possible. Do not stand near or under a tree, as lightning typically strikes the tallest object in an area—and even if you are not the victim of a direct strike, the current from the lightning can run through the ground and through your body. If you or someone with you is struck by lightning, call 911. This is a medical emergency.

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