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Thunderstorm Safety Guide

We have seen quite a few thunderstorms around Ontario lately. Strong winds can knock over trees and send branches flying through windows. Dangerous lightning may strike near the home and cause a power surge. Since there are frequent storms in the area, it is important to take proper precautions to stay safe.

Preparing For A Thunderstorm

One of the best ways to stay safe is to be prepared for the worst. Be sure to take these three important steps.

1. Protect Appliances From A Power Surge

Never assume that a power strip or an appliance surge protector will be adequate. Proper protection requires a whole-house suppressor that is hard-wired to the service panel. Installation requires a licensed electrician and takes about two hours. Homeowners should also install in-house suppressors in outlets.

2. Check Property Features

Walk around the property and look for dead shrubbery branches or tree limbs that could become flying hazards in a storm. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from windows and doors. If there are any other items that could be thrown in a wind storm, put them in the garage or store them.

3. Have A Supply Kit Ready

Make sure there are plenty of batteries, flashlights and a battery-operated radio available. Keep a first aid kit on hand. It is also smart to keep a can opener, canned food, bottled water and some blankets in a safe area.

What To Do When Severe Weather Is Imminent

Charge a cell phone if the storm is still in the distance so it will be ready. If the house has shutters, go outside and close them. Make sure the designated shelter area and emergency supply kit are both ready.

When The Power Is On

If the electricity is on and the thunderstorm has not arrived yet, unplug all appliances and computers if surge protectors are not installed. Wait until the weather service says the storm has passed before plugging them back in.

When The Power Is Off

If the electricity is off, do not go outside. Electric lines could be down and can create electrocution hazards whether it is raining or not. Contact emergency personnel if there is a visible electric line down.

To be safe, always stay indoors until the thunderstorm passes and the electricity is back on.

Picture of Anne-Marie Grantham

Anne-Marie Grantham

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