National Weather Service gives tips on staying safe in severe weather

National Weather Service gives tips on staying safe in severe weather

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The National Weather Service says the best thing before severe weather strikes is to have a disaster plan ready for you and your family to follow at home or at work.

According to the National Weather Service, hundreds of people die each year in the U.S. from lightning, flash floods and winds from those powerful thunderstorms.

Therefore, experts say you should identify a place to take shelter that everyone knows to go to once the warning signs blast.

When lightning strikes, the National Weather Service suggests using the 30/30 rule. If the time between lightning and thunder is 30 seconds or less, you need to seek shelter and stay for at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.

Also, have a severe weather safety kit ready year-round. Pack flashlights, candles, batteries, first aid kit, water and proper clothing.

Be aware of storms heading to your area by listening to commercial radio, TV, or downloading reliable weather apps.

If you are caught driving in a storm, it is best to slow down. Most fatalities come from accidents in rain or floods, especially at night when it is harder to see water level rising.

If you are in your vehicle when lightning strikes, you should not touch metal surfaces and put the phone down.

When lightning strikes, utility lines and pipes can carry the electrical current underground or through a building. You want to avoid using electrical appliances and only use cell phones and computers in an emergency.

Never underestimate the power of a strong storm. Take precautions with each threat of severe weather. It is better to be safe than putting you and your family in danger.

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