Thunderstorms are expected to hit parts of B.C.’s Interior this weekend, bringing heavy rain, hail, and lightning. These storms can pose a serious threat to your safety and your property, especially if you live in a flood-prone area or near a river. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the impending thunderstorms and minimize the damage they may cause.
Before the storm
- Check the weather forecast regularly and sign up for alerts from Environment and Climate Change Canada or your local emergency management agency.
- Prepare an emergency kit with essentials such as water, food, flashlight, radio, batteries, first aid kit, medications, and important documents.
- Secure any outdoor items that could be blown away or damaged by strong winds or hail, such as patio furniture, umbrellas, plant pots, and garbage cans.
- Clear any debris from your gutters, downspouts, and drains to prevent water from accumulating on your roof or around your foundation.
- Inspect your roof for any leaks or cracks and repair them as soon as possible.
- Unplug any electrical appliances and devices that are not in use to avoid power surges or fires.
- Avoid using anything connected to your plumbing system during a storm, such as sinks, showers, toilets, and washing machines. Plumbing conducts electricity and can shock you if lightning strikes nearby.
During the storm
- Stay indoors and away from windows and doors. If you are outside, seek shelter in a sturdy building or a hard-topped vehicle. Do not take shelter under trees, poles, or metal objects.
- If you hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Count the seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder. If it is less than 30 seconds, you are in danger. Seek shelter immediately and stay there until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.
- If you are in a vehicle, park it away from trees or power lines and turn off the engine. Stay inside the vehicle and do not touch any metal parts.
- If you are in a boat or on the water, get to shore as quickly as possible and find a safe shelter.
- If you are in a low-lying area or near a river, watch for signs of flooding such as rising water levels, mudslides, or debris. Move to higher ground if necessary and follow the instructions of local authorities.
- If you are in an area prone to hail, cover your head and body with blankets, pillows, or coats to protect yourself from injury. Stay away from skylights and glass doors that could shatter.
After the storm
- Wait until the storm has passed before going outside. Be careful of fallen trees, power lines, or other hazards that may have been caused by the storm.
- Check your home for any damage and report it to your insurance company as soon as possible. Take photos or videos of the damage for evidence.
- If you have lost power, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns instead of candles or matches. Turn off and unplug any appliances that were on before the outage to prevent damage when the power comes back on.
- If you have experienced flooding, do not enter your home until it is safe to do so. Wear protective clothing and gloves when cleaning up any water or mold. Throw away any food or items that have been contaminated by floodwater.
- If you need help or assistance after the storm, contact your local emergency management agency or call 911 if it is an emergency.
I hope this blog post helps you prepare for the impending thunderstorms in B.C.’s Interior. Remember to stay safe and follow the advice of local authorities during a storm. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me through my website. Thanks for reading!
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