Dealing with Severe Storms
Weather Watches And Warnings
The weather office issues, and radio and TV stations broadcast weather watches and weather warnings.
Online: Public Weather Warnings for Canada
Remember – A “watch” is an advisory only. Nothing may happen but a watch could develop into a warning. Stay alert! Listen to your radio.
Remember – A “warning” means that the event is imminent. Take precautions and listen to your radio.
When A Severe Storm Threatens
- During the season in which storms are likely to occur in our area, listen to a local radio or TV station for warnings and advice.
- Open doors and windows slightly on the side of the house away from the storm to help equalize pressure and thus reduce damage. Remember to stay away from windows and doors to avoid flying glass and debris.
- Secure anything that might be blown around or torn loose, both indoors and out. Storing belongings indoors can also protect against damage from hail.
- Avoid travelling. You won’t want to be caught without shelter. Protect your automobile by slightly lowering windows and setting brakes. If your garage is sturdy, store cars there.
- If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Take your emergency kit and supplies with you. You will also need flashlights and batteries, infant care items, and personal documents and identification for each family member. Before you leave, shut off electricity and gas to reduce fire hazard.
- If a storm catches you outdoors, take shelter immediately. As a last resort, lie flat in a ditch, excavation or culvert.
- Keep calm. You’ll be more able to cope with emergencies.
After The Storm
- Listen to your radio for information and instructions. Follow them.
- Give first aid to injured or trapped persons; get help if necessary.
- Unless you are requested or qualified to give help, stay away from damaged areas.
- Stay away from loose or dangling electrical wires. Report them to authorities. Also report broken sewer and water mains.
- Lightning and downed power lines can cause fires. Know how to fight small fires and contact the fire department. Be alert to prevent fires; broken mains may cause lowered water pressure.
- Drive your car cautiously and only if necessary. Debris, washed out or icy roads, weakened bridges and dangling hydro wires will make driving dangerous. Make way for emergency and rescue vehicles.
- Don’t use the telephone except in a real emergency. Leave lines open for official use.
- If power has been turned off for several hours, check freezers and refrigerators for spoiled food.
- After a severe storm, water supplies may be contaminated. Purify water by boiling, adding purification tablets or chlorinating.
- You can estimate the distance of a lightning strike by counting the seconds between the flash and the thunderclap. Each second indicates about 300m. If you count fewer than five seconds, take shelter.
- Don’t go outside unless absolutely necessary.
- If you are indoors, keep away from windows, doors, fireplaces, radiators, stoves, metal pipes, sinks or other potential electric charge conductors. Unplug electric appliances such as TV’s and radios. Don’t handle electrical equipment or telephones during an electrical storm.
- If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a building, cave or depressed area.
- Keep away from fences, and telephone and power lines.
- Don’t use equipment such as tractors, golf carts, motorcycles, lawn mowers or bicycles. Get off and stay away from them; they can be electrical conductors. Don’t use metal shovels, golf clubs, clotheslines, etc.
- Don’t be the tallest object in an open area. Get well away from hilltops and trees. Never take shelter under a tree. If you’re caught in the open, kneel with your feet close together and lower your head. Do not lie flat.
- If you are in your car, stay there. Pull away from trees that might fall on the car.