Valuable Tips to Protect Your Home and Family During Texas Thunderstorms
Texas is no stranger to thunderstorms. According to U.S. Climate Data, historically, the most rainfall occurs during the months of May through June but we all know that our weather is a changeable gal. With this month’s severe downpour, it would be best to heed the advise of being prepared for the rainy months that lie ahead. In our efforts to safeguard our great Texas community, here are some valuable Facts, Safety Tips and Emergency Steps from OurEnergyllc: Texas Thunderstorm Safety Tips.
- > Thunderstorms Produce Lightning.
Although the dangers of lightning have decreased during the last thirty years, it’s still ranked within the top three storm related fatalities in the U.S.
- > Lightning May be Fatal.
Lighting kills an average of 51 people a year. Many more are injured but with lifelong consequences.
- > Thunderstorms May Contain Tornadoes.
These powerful monsters of nature can reach 300 miles per hour winds and may damage areas of up to 50 miles wide. Some tornadoes form so quickly, they barely give a warning to prepare in advance.
- > Thunderstorms May Produce Flash Flooding.
Floods are responsible for more than 140 deaths annually and cost billions in damages. According to NOAA National Weather Service, floods cost the U.S. a total of $2,861,426,089 in 2014 alone.
It is wise to apply the following Texas Thunderstorm Safety Tips, in order to be best prepared to face any possible onslaught of nature.
Texas Thunderstorm Safety Tips
→ BUILD A SAFETY KIT
It is always good to have an emergency kit at home. You never know when an emergency may hit. You do not want to get stuck at the last minute rush to put it together and you may not have time to do so. During a calm day at home, make a list of all of the important items that you need for it to contain and store it away in a place that you can get to easily. The following are some recommended items to contain in an emergency kit:
- > Enough Food and Water to Last a Minimum of 3 Days.
Store one gallon per person per day for drinking and washing. Store away long life, non perishables apt for all members of the family. Store a can opener as well. If you have a baby, make sure to put away food, formula and diapers. If you have pets, make sure to include food, water and a serving dish for them as well.
- > First Aid Kit and Medications
Make sure to include a first aid kit and any medications that you or a family member may need.
- > Electronics
Store a battery powered radio, flash light and batteries. Include a whistle to signal for help.
- > Sanitation.
Store away moist towels, personal hygiene and plastic garbage bags.
- > Tool Kit & Mess Kit
A small tool kit with the basics can always come in handy. Also include mess kit or sturdy paper or plastic cups, plate and utensils. Keep in mind that all cups, plates and utensils should be reusable.
- > Clothes & Bedding
Store away sturdy clothes and shoes (possibly boots), a jacket, raincoat/poncho, hat and gloves for each member of the family. Also store sleeping bags and blankets for each person and blanket for pets.
- > Important Family Documents
Keep important documents in a safe waterproof portable container. Examples of these are: copies of insurance policies, identification, bank account records, traveler’s checks, bank notes, diplomas, passports and any other valuable documentation.
- > Other Supplies to Consider
The following are other options you may consider including in your Emergency Kit: Gas for your car (keep it in a safe place), a good knife or a multipurpose knife, a large tent, matches (in a waterproof container), compass, extra collar or harness for your pet(s), rags / paper towels and fire extinguisher.
- > Official Emergency Kit Advice
You may read up on more emergency advice supplied by fema.gov. Here you may find a wealth of documents on the subject of emergency preparedness.
→ HAVE A FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN
It’s vital to establish good communication with your family so that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. Since every family is unique, each will have their own emergency plan. Once you have your plan ready, sit down with every member of the family so that they understand the importance of getting to know and adhering the family emergency plan procedures. The following are some tips on how to build a good plan that could help prevent distress and save lives:
- > Make Sure You Can Communicate.
Telephone communication can be interrupted during emergencies. For this reason, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure that if you do manage to get through you make the most important calls first. Make sure that you have all emergency numbers and emergency contacts stored on your phone in order to reach out to them quickly. Have a cell phone or prepaid cards readily available. Make sure that your children have family members or trusted neighbors as an emergency contact in case they are unable to reach you.
- > Emergency Evacuation Routes
Find two different evacuation routes for reach room of the house. Keep a ladder on hand for places with more than one story and make sure that every member of the house is well acquainted with all routes. HELPFUL TIP: Have a floor plan of the house on hand when discussing the evacuation routes for clarity.
- > Meeting Places.
Being in an unsafe place or getting separated during an emergency is a real possibility. For this reason, it’s important to establish three different safe places in order of importance. Again, since everyone’s daily route is unique, the safe places will be based on location, time, schedule and where it may be safest to be depending on the circumstance. Plan on establishing meeting places depending on whether its night or day, week or weekend. Some examples may be: home, a relative’s home, a neighbor’s home, school, place of worship, mall or stadium. It is wise to locate the safest place in your home to be in case of an emergency insuring that all family members fit and can get there quickly.
- > The Ability to Turn Off Utilities.
Don’t forget to be able to turn off anything that can be potentially hazardous depending on the situation. Items may include: electricity, water or gas. Make sure to have adequate tools available to turn off a valve if necessary.
- > Quiz & Run Drills
Quiz your family members on what to do in case of an emergency and run safely drills. The quizzes and drills will help pinpoint potential areas of improvement in your emergency plan and how well trained all members of the family are in case of the real thing.
→ PREPARING FOR A STORM
There are many things that can be prevented with good planning. When the weather forecast calls for a potentially major storm, remember to first make sure that you have an Emergency Safety Kit and a Family Emergency Plan. The following are tips to do right before a storm hits:
- > Remove Potential Hazards.
Walk around your home and yard and run an inspection. Secure or bring in objects than can be blown away. It’s best to remove dead or rotten trees or branches which can be a danger during a storm.
- > Secure Windows
Shutter windows (if possible) and shut windows and blinds.
- > Electronics
Unplug electronic equipment before the storm arrives making sure to unplug by the plug and not the cord.
- > Avoid Outdoor Activities.
Stay indoors during the storm whenever possible. Remember that staying in your car is safer than outside.
→ IN CASE OF A FLOOD
Although we hope and pray that you will never be in any type of emergency situation. Knowledge is more than power, it’s survival. The following are important tips to follow in case of a flood:
- > Child Safety.
Even a few inches of water can pose a risk to a child. It is vital to instruct your children on what to do:
- – If they see flood waters, turn around and seek higher ground.
- – Stay away from flooded areas, rivers or streams, the further away the better.
- – Never try to walk, swim or play in flood waters.
- – Be careful of snakes and other animals that may come out during floods.
- > Food Safety
During floods the risk of food contamination is high. The following are a few tips to avoid getting sick:
- – Do not eat any food that has come into contact with flood water.
- – Keep food in covered containers and cooking utensils clean.
- – Throw away uneaten food that has been out for more than two hours.
- – Do not eat any food that has a foul smell or is expired.
- – Keep garbage bags closed and away from food.
- – Use ready to feed formula, bottled water or boiled water to feed infants that are not being breast fed.
- – Remember that your pet is also at risk to become sick. Make sure to care for their food and water and bag away their waste.
- > Belongings.
If you are in a flood prone area, make sure to fill your sinks, tubs and plastic bottles with clean water. Bring your furniture and valuables to the higher floors of your home. Also, raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel to higher floors or the attic. In cases of a flood, the higher floors are less prone to become damaged.
- > Turn Off Your Utilities.
Once instructed by authorities, turn off all utilities at the main power switch and gas valve.
- > Get Your Emergency Kit Ready & Be Prepared to Evacuate.
Make sure you have your emergency kit on hand, gas in your car and have reached out to your family members.