Thunderstorms are rain showers that consist of thunder, lightning, and sometimes big winds with hail.  They are a frequent occurrence throughout the world.  In fact, approximately 40,000 thunderstorms occur on Earth each year.  Any thunderstorm can be dangerous.  Even if it doesn’t bring rain to one particular area, lightning will become a concern.  

Getting prepared for any thunderstorm is easy.  Important tasks involve keeping your home and yard safe.  You should also pay attention to the weather forecast, know how to take cover, and have an emergency kit. 

*Have your home safe for thunderstorms

You should be sure that your home’s not prone to any power surges caused by lightning.  Check all your water and electric systems.  Keep your yard clean and free from broken tree branches and other debris.  If you have a tree overshadowing a telephone wire, have a crew trim the tree, because its branches may topple over by high winds and bring the lines down.   And don’t forget the windows.  You should put shades over them, in case broken glass from strong winds enter your home.

When there’s lightning outside, avoid touching anything that’s electrical.  Lightning can strike the power and electrocute you.  Postpone talking on the phone, using a computer, washing dishes, and bathing.  In fact, unplug anything that may get damaged by a power surge.  Consider turning off the air conditioner, since power surges from the lightning can overload the compressor.

*Keep tuned to the weather forecast

Weather can be a big story for any news media.  If there’s a possibility for a chance of thunderstorms – along with severe weather – stay tuned to it.  There are several ways to cover the possibility of thunderstorms.  You can watch your local TV news channel or read the weather conditions online.  An emergency weather radio is an excellent device that gives you up-to-date weather information, and it can be purchased at electronic stores.   

*Have an emergency kit

What if your home is severely damaged by the thunderstorm and you’re forced to evacuate?  You’ll need to build an emergency kit for your family.  Ideal items include blankets, imperishable food, bottled water, fresh batteries, and a flashlight.  A first-aid kit is also in order, in case someone gets injured from the thunderstorm.  Know where your family meeting place will be, and purchase extra gas for transportation if necessary.     

*Learn to take cover

You need to be indoors during any kind of thunderstorm, severe or not.  But since thunderstorms occasionally bring high winds and even tornadoes, it’s a good idea to know how to take cover.  A basement is always the best area to seek shelter.  If your home doesn’t have a basement, just stay on the lowest level.  But stay away from windows, because the wind may still be enough to shatter them, and debris may fly through and injure you.  Crouch in a hallway, with your neck covered by your arms.  Be sure to avoid potential falling objects, like a picture frame or mirror.

In case you’re outdoors and there’s no shelter to be found, find a spot that’s clear from trees and poles, but not subject to flooding.  Squat on the ground with your knees tucked and your head between them. 

Once you have your home in good shape and know what to do during a thunderstorm, you’ve done your part keeping the family and yourself safe.  Thunderstorms can be deadly, and can be unpredictable by producing high winds or tornadoes with little to no warning.