About 10% of the thunderstorms that occur annually in the United States are classified as severe. Even those that are not can be dangerous. Lightening in particular is a threat, though it may seem that a thunderstorm is miles away.
Terms to Know
Severe Thunderstorm Watch - This means that severe thunderstorms are likely to occur.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning - This means that severe thunderstorms have been spotted, and people in the path of the storm are in danger.
Before Thunderstorms Strike
Cut down dead trees and clear branches from around your home.
Secure loose outdoor objects such as patio furniture
Shutter the windows and secure the doors.
During a Thunderstorm
Get or stay inside if, after seeing lightening, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder.
Do not shower or bathe.
Do not use a corded telephone, except in an emergency. Cell phones are cordless phones are OK to use during a storm.
Unplug electronics and turn off air conditioners.
If outside in a wooded area, take shelter under a thick growth of small trees.
If outside in an open area, move to a low spot such as a ravine or valley - but beware of flash flooding.
Never stand under a tall, isolated tree, on a hilltop, in an open field, on the beach or near open water.
Stay away from metal equipment and apparatus such as fences, tractors, pipes and bicycles.
If swimming or boating, get out of the water immediately and take shelter.
If You Are About to be Struck
Feeling you hair stand on end means lightening is about to strike nearby. Make yourself into a small target.
Squat down on the balls of your feet - do not lie flat on the ground.
Place your hands over your ears and tuck your head between your knees.