...part of the extended info series on How to prepare your Personal Emergency Plan | this page is also accessed via bit.ly/PrepareForStorm
Scenario: Storm | severe weather, heavy rain, lightning, flooding, storm surge, storm tide, hurricane, tornado, typhoon
Storms can cause severe damage from high winds, heavy rainfall and storm surges not only to coastlines but also further inland (see windspeeds, i.e. Beaufort Scale and SSHWS Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale). Flying debris can be very dangerous and excessive water can cause devastating floods, land- and mudslides. Coastal areas are particularly prone to damage as storm surges and wave action combine to erode foundations that weaken and may fail.
In addition thunderstorms produce lightning which can damage property and kill or severely injure people. Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection. However, steel frames, i.e. hard-topped vehicle, provides increased protection if you are NOT touching metal. Generally, you're much safer indoors or in a hard-topped vehicle during lightning than outside.
Real-time date: wind observation XCW Weather, Metar, earth.nullschool.net ventusky / LightningMaps; MetCheck Global Severe Weather scanner;Met Office UK Storm Centre; EU storm map;
1. ASSESS know your surroundings
- check your elevation level. See if your area is flood-prone; check my floodrisk. Prepare for flooding
- know of levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you
- find out about safe evacuation routes and how to find higher ground
- determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate; alternatively consider to shelter-in-place.
2. PREPARE your supplies - secure your property
- check and update your Emergency Plan and Emergency Kit
- cover windows – permanent storm shutters offer the best protection. Another option is to board up with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- reduce roof damage by installing straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure
- clear gutters and downspouts
- reinforce your garage doors; wind entering a garage can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
- bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down
- trim trees and shrubs around your home so they are more wind resistant
- install a generator for emergencies; read resilience blog on powercut
- if in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor
- consider preparing a safe room
- unplug any electric equipment well before the arrival of a thunderstrom
3. STAY SAFE during the storm
- stay put in your safe place and wait it out
- tune in to local radio and TV to MetOffice weather updates and forecasts; use weather and emergency apps. i.e. FM radio stations / AM radio stations / radio stations on freesat / 514 UK TV channels
- live reporting on lightning strikes as they happen Lightningmaps.org
4. RECOVER - after the storm clean-up
- be extra vigilant as there may be many hidden dangers caused by the storm
- take pictures and complete your damages notes when it’s safe to do so; get in touch with your insurer
Recently in the news:
Lightning strike injures three including two children in Country Antrim; BBC: How do you recover from being struck by lightning?
UNISDR Storm Surge; CDC lightning; British Red Cross on thunderstorms and blackouts; Patient Info: Electrical Injuries and Lightning Strikes; MetOffice severe weather;
The Scottish Hurricane of 1675 | Hurricane Debbie 1961 | Hurriciane Faith 1966 | Hurricane Lili 1996| Hurricane Mitch 1998 |
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