The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory reports that “worldwide, there are an estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year, and at any given moment, there are roughly 2,000 thunderstorms in progress.” Thunderstorms are most likely to occur during the spring and summer months, particularly in the afternoon and evening hours, but they can occur at any time of year and any hour.
Preparation for the hurricane season varies from year to year since hurricanes come in different strengths. Preparation must include safety-related awareness always, and with hurricanes come thunderstorms most of the time, so it’s important to bear in mind some safety measures when thunderstorms and lightning strikes threaten you.
How to Prepare for a Thunderstorm/Hurricane
- Always have enough for your emergency water, food, and medical supplies. The preparation for what’s to come is very important.
- Review and make an inventory of your hurricane preparation list. Check your essentials like masks, plastic gloves, hand sanitizers, soaps, and medications.
- You can protect and reduce your exposure to viruses by limiting in-person visits from online deliveries, especially for your medical supplies. If available, you can sign-up for mail order delivery, or use drive-through windows or curbside pickup when you receive your goods or items.
- With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, always remember to put your mask on using plastic gloves when handling products or items for safety purposes.
- Get updated with local guidance and protocols on evacuation information, including shelters, maps, and even shelters for your pets.
What to Do in the Event of Flooding
- Take refuge from high winds in a designated storm shelter or an interior room. If your home is located on a higher level than floodwaters can reach, you can store essentials and stay there until the flooding subsides.
- If you are in a building, avoid being trapped by going to its highest level. Do not climb in a closed attic; you might be trapped by rising floodwaters.
- Do not swim, walk, or drive through floodwaters. Better be safe than sorry. You can read more on floodwater safety by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
- Stay in contact with your trusted company for flood damage in Spartanburg.
What Do to When an Evacuation Order is Issued
- Act immediately. You and your family should follow directions; seek a public shelter or stay with friends/family further inland or on higher ground.
- Check with your neighbors to ensure that they have received updated information.
- Turn off all electricity, gas, and water; unplug all appliances.
- Lock your doors.
- Make sure everyone in your household is wearing strong shoes and suitable clothing.
- Take your emergency survival kit; commence your evacuation plan.
- Visiting from out of town? The local council or emergency agency will let you know your best options for evacuation.
- If you cannot take your pets with you, make sure they are in a safe place (garage, laundry, etc). Leave them with food and water. Do not tie them up.
- Comfort children.
- If you are driving when a cyclone hits, immediately park in an area that is clear of trees, power lines, and watercourses. Stay inside your car.
Staying Safe After a Storm
- After the passing of a storm, when returning home and power is available, do not start all major appliances at once. Gradually turn them on to reduce damage to sensitive household equipment.
- Read and follow post-storm safety precautions to protect your house and your family from hazards and contamination. Always be informed and be prepared.
- Document the damage done by the storm. Take pictures or videos; they may be necessary for insurance purposes or reference in case of future hurricanes.
- As recommended, follow social distancing rules, staying away at least 6 feet or about 2 arms’ length from others. Just be always cautious when talking to other people. Try to avoid people whom you suspect might be sick to safeguard your health.
- Listen to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding.
- Watch out for fallen power lines and trees. Report them immediately.
- If there is severe damage in your home or business, immediately call an expert for storm damage restoration. In case of drying your wet items or property, you can also request structural drying in Spartanburg.
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