According to Weather.com, there are 40,000 thunderstorm occurrences everyday, world-wide. That totals to 14.6 million a year. While thunderstorms may just seem like a common occurrence, they can cause more damage than you might think. Even when a storm is not categorized as a hurricane, you can still experience complications like fallen trees, live wires, and power outages. In 2017 alone, 36.7 million Americans were affected by 3526 power outages. Additionally, lightning is extremely hazardous to people and property. In fact, lightning is a leading cause of injury and possibly death from weather-related events. With all this in mind, it is best to be prepared, rather than sorry. Here are some tips and ideas to help you prepare your home and family for a thunderstorm.
1. Create an Emergency Supply Kit
It is best to always have a basic emergency supply kit fully stocked year round. Stock your kit with plenty of water, non-perishable foods that don’t require a long cooking process, and utensils. Be sure to have first-aid supplies, like bandages and anti-bacterial creams, in an easy-to-find location to prevent any panic in case you find yourself needing a patch-up. It is also very important in a black-out to have enough batteries on hand, in a wide variety of sizes. Assess your home’s needs ahead of time to know which batteries you will need the most of. And definitely don’t forget the flashlights! Keep them in easily-accessible locations around your house, like in a nightstand, end table, and kitchen cabinet.
2. Prepare to Lose Power
With severe weather, it is not uncommon to lose power. It is common, however, to not know when the power will come back on. To feel the most at ease during a thunderstorm and all weather events, purchase a backup battery power generator. Geneverse (formerly Generark)’s HomePower ONE can power your devices and home appliances for up to seven days. With high-power outputs and wide-range compatibility, you can choose what devices are necessary for your family’s comfort, whether it be lights, the refrigerator, security system, or a cell phone charger.
3. Know the Warning Signs
Thunderstorms can come with a myriad of weather conditions. Lightning strikes and rumbling thunder may often start well before rain hits your area, oftentimes 30 minutes. You may also experience winds of up to 50 miles per hour, flash flooding, hail, and tornadoes. Find out if your area has an emergency alert system that will let you know when a storm is coming and weather conditions being reported nearby.
4. Identify Safe Shelter
In a severe thunderstorm with high winds, you want to stay indoors and away from windows. Be sure the shelter is sturdy and does not risk collapse or other dangers. This is especially important if you are outside of your home and potentially traveling on the road. Knowing where you can seek shelter will ease your mind.
5. Remove Dangerous Items From Your Yard
With high winds and intense rain comes the possibility for power outages, but did you know that oftentimes power goes out because tree branches get caught or pull on power cords? Additionally, falling tree branches can damage vehicles, roofs, windows, and potentially hurt any people outside. Assess your yard and home ahead of any storm to ensure that you do not have dead branches or other potentially dangerous items in your yard. If there is a storm warning, secure any light-weight furniture that could blow around and put away as many toys and other items as possible.
6. Protect Your Home from Lightning
Seeking shelter indoors may physically protect you from lightning, but it can still strike your house and cause problems for your household. It is recommended that you unplug home appliances to prevent power surging that can cause serious damage in the case of a lightning strike. If you need to keep items plugged in, be sure to use surge protections to minimize damage to your devices. Even if you don’t lose power the HomePower ONE is a safe option for using home appliances without being plugged into the wall outlet. Use a corded telephone only in an emergency, opting instead for cordless or cell phones. You can keep your devices charged with the HomePower ONE’s or SolarPower ONE’s USB-compatibility. It is also recommended that you do not shower or bathe during a storm, as plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
It is best to prepare for all potential weather emergencies by creating an emergency supply kit and identifying the safest points of shelter in your home and community. Additionally, you can always benefit from participating in community alert systems. Understand the warning signs of storms and prepare your home by removing dead branches and hazards from your yard and purchasing a backup battery power generator.
For even more tips, check out our articles about preparing for power outages and creating an emergency supply kit.
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