Spring means storm season across a large swath of the country, but unfortunately, a large number of people are woefully underprepared when it comes to personal protection in the event of a storm. Things like thunderstorms and tornados pose a host of threats that many might not even understand. To make sure that you and your family are protected amid such disasters, consider some valuable safety tips from the American Red Cross.
Safety begins with preparing to steel yourself against the type of property damage and injuries that occur when high winds blow through the area. If you have any trees in your yard, cut down limbs that have been damaged or rotted over the past few months. Also cut down any other branches that appear as if they could be torn asunder and cause a projectile hazard.
Anything in your yard can become a projectile if the wind picks up enough. Tie down trash cans, plants, furniture, and any other decor that might be outside of your house. And to stave off injury should the wind still pick up a projectile, get permanent shutters put on your windows and invest in a protective barrier that can be placed on any sliding glass doors.
When a storm descends, you might be stuck in your house for awhile, and the hardship is compounded when the power goes out. Have emergency supplies stored away for such an occasion. Such items should include nonperishable foods, first aid, bottled water, batteries, a radio, and any medications that a family member might need.
Even when you’re in your home, you’re not completely safe from the threat of lightning. Appliances ought to be unplugged lest they end up conducting electricity. It’s best to use a cellphone if you need to get ahold of someone, as a landline could also transmit electricity. Although it’s advisable to keep your lights on, it is not wise to take a shower or bath during a storm. A lightning strike could severely imperil your safety in such conditions.
If someone does get struck by lightning, either in your home or outside, don’t panic. The electricity can’t be transmitted from that person to you after the fact, and thus it’s permissible to initiate assistance as necessary. First aid should be provided and rescue officials ought to be called via 911. Should the individual’s heart cease to beat before EMS gets there, CPR should be administered by someone who understands what that process requires.
Finally, when you’re waiting for a storm to pass, move to a low, sheltered area of your residence and listen to local weather reports. Wait until the danger passes to emerge.