Recent Storm Damage Posts

Hurricane Florence

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Florence began affecting the east coast on September 14th, and has caused a great deal of damage. Even after the hurricane hit, waters continued to rise throughout the Carolina's, Virginia and parts of Maryland. Many people were displaced and homes were ruined. SERVPRO dispatched our Storm teams into the areas to begin flood cleanup. 

SERVPRO has its own meteorologist, Lela Davis, who works at our corporate branch. Her job is to keep our corporate office updated on the forecast so that storm teams can be ready for dispatch in areas that is predicted to have storms. This way, we're one step a head of the weather.

Our storm teams make it possible for local franchises to reach more people in an area hit by storm and devastation. They will bring trailers of equipment with them, and as much crew as possible. Our focus is to help those in need and get homeowners back in their homes, businesses up and running quickly.  

Preparing for a Natural Disaster

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

With the increasing amount of technology, we are often able to predict storms before they happen. However, natural disaster can happen without much warning. Though, it is important to be prepared and understand what it takes to be prepared. It is often joked about that the only job that you won’t get fired for being wrong is being a weatherman. Whether we believe the storm will affect us directly or not, we need to trust the possibility that if a storm is predicted to hit a specific area and prepare of the worst.

How should you prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster?

-Prepare to be without electricity for several days. Here is a list of very basic items you should have on hand:

>You should have a couple flashlights with extra batteries. Candles and matches.

>Food that will not spoil and does not need to be heated to be eaten or kept cold.

>Plenty of bottled water. Some sources say as much as 1 gallon of water per person per day.

>Blankets and clothing stored in a plastic container that won’t get wet if flooding should occur.

>First aid kit.

>At least a week’s worth of any prescription medication and any over the counter medication you may take.

>Toiletries such as paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo, body wash, tooth paste and tooth brushes, anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer.

Remember that stores and gas stations can get overwhelmingly busy when everyone is trying to prepare for a storm. Be patient and understanding during this time. It is easy to become anxious as no one truly knows what will happen in the days or hours to come.

-Watch the news and stay current on what is happening. In some areas evacuations may be necessary. It is important to know what is going on and what safety measures are being recommended.

-Create a family communication plan. In case you get separated from your loved ones, make sure you have a plan of how you would get back in touch with them. Often we hear on the news that family members were evacuated separately from one another. If this were to happen, you would want to have a plan to get back in touch with your loved ones so that you know quicker that they are alright.

-Be flexible with your plans. Circumstances may change in a moment’s notice and it is important that we remain flexible in our plans. The area you’re in may not be expecting initially to get hit with the eye of the storm. However, this can change very quickly and officials may decide to evacuate your area. You need to be prepared to do so with very little time so that you and your family can get to a safe zone.

A Storm Can Bring a Great Deal of Destruction

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

The flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927 was the worst flood in American history. At the height of its power, the flood affected an area approximately 27,000 square miles affecting the states of Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas with Arkansas being hit the hardest. At one point the flooded area was 50 miles wide, a 100 miles long and 30 feet deep. 500 people were killed, 600,000 were left homeless and there were 350 million dollars in damages – approximately 5 billion dollars today.

How did it happen?

Heavy rains came down in late 1926 and kept falling from the sky well into 1927. The tributaries of the Mississippi started to become burdened and the levees overflowed. The single greatest weak point in the levee system was at Mounds, Mississippi but authorities assured residents that the levee would hold. Slaves were made to pile sandbags on top of the levee but once one leak started, the water flow continued to increase. The levee started to shake and eventually collapsed with water flowing more than double the volume of Niagara Falls. The Mounds Landing levee break was significant in that after its collapse, the entire levee system along the river broke. Mounds Landing is known as the most severe levee break in the history on the United States to this day.

Changes

The Mississippi Flood of 1927 brought about many changes to the region and the entire country. Racial tensions soared high and many African Americans migrated north resulting in what is now known as the Great Migration. Under the Flood Control Act of 1928 the world’s longest system of levees were built. In 1941 Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Yazoo Backwater Project which utilizes levees, connecting channels, drainage structures and pumps to prevent flooding in the Mississippi Delta. The Great Flood of 1927 will always be remembered and continues to affect our country, its geography, its people, culture and our landscape to this very day. 

Thunder Damage Safety

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These causalities are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.

1)      Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.

2)      Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.

3)      Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.

4)      Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.

5)      Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.

6)      If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.

Preparing for a Thunderstorm

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

During this time of year, we may experience a lot of rain, which can leads to thunderstorms. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods and tornadoes. Think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan. 

Protect your electronics. Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protectors to avoid damage during a storm. 

Prepare for power outages. Have battery operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be disgarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored. 

Stay away from power lines. Don'tgo near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines. 

Go inside when you hear thunder. If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightening is also occurring. Lightening can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs. 

Seek shelter. There are many different nature elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If your inside, a good place to be is in the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement, or storm cellar you can hang out in until the storm passes.

Keep an emergency kit ready. Conisder putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets extra batteries, a radio and a first aid kit.

Heavy Rain and Flooding Safety Tips

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

This spring we have been having a wide range of different types of weather. This has been both challenging to ourselves as people and to our homes, businesses and landscaping. We thought it would be important to share some safety tips with you regarding heavy rains and flooding. 

  1. Check your Roof-Look for current damage and areas that look vulnerable to leaks. Repair these as soon as possible. If need be, call a roofer to perform the inspection and the repairs. 
  2. Trim Foliage-Plants and trees with overgrown branches can pose a danger to your household in harsh winds and rain.
  3. Waterproof Windows-Check the edges of your window sills to see if they need a waterproof sealer or rubber on the edges.
  4. Clear out Gutters-It is important that these are clear in case of heavy rain to prevent any possible flooding. You should check your gutters a couple times throughout the year as the wind tends to carry leaves and debris into the gutters blocking the water from flowing freely. 

Remember, it is very important to keep an eye on these things, because a small leak can cause a lot of damage. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office so that we can help!

Tree Damage

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

In the recent snow storm, a lot of trees and tree limbs fell. We saw pictures of trees falling in people's yards, on fences, and on people's homes. Trees can cause a great deal of damage, especially those that fall on houses. This can cause damage to roofs, exterior walls and windows.

Here are some tips for what to watch out for before the storm:

-Keep an eye on cracks in tree trunks and large limbs

-Watch out for hollowed, aged and decaying trees, trees that lean to one side

-Branches leaning over the roof or close to the house

-Any trees or branches that are close to or hover over utility lines

All of these things are cause for potential dangers to your home and property. Do you know someone who performs tree removal services? Getting contact information for someone who performs tree removal services is great to have on hand for emergency situations.

Before a storm hits, it's always good to remove dead, diseased or damaged tree limbs. Prune branches close to the house and near utility lines.

In addition to paying attention to the trees, you should also check gutters and remove any debris you might find to prevent a water back up in your gutters. Having a water back up, could cause damage to your ceilings bringing the storm inside your home.

After the storm has passed, be sure to re-evaluate your property. Take precautions and remove any trees or branches that appear damaged. If necessary, call a professional to help.

What To Do When Your Pipes Freeze

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Imagine this... you wake up on a cold winter morning, stumble to the bathroom, turn on the sink to splash your face with some water but only a very small trickle of water coming from your pipes. Confused? You call a plumber, and they tell you that most likely you have a frozen pipe. Eek! What do you do now?

Try to locate the section of pipe that is frozen. Using a blow dryer or heat gun blow hot air at the frozen section of pipe. If possible, you could place a space heater near the pipe to begin the thawing. It is important not to use a torch or open flame to attempt to thaw the pipe. Also, don’t place the space heater too close- remember the 3 ft rule! 

Inspect the pipe for any cracks that may occur when the water causes the pipe to expand. Slowly begin the run water and check for any leaks. If you notice water leaking from the pipe, you should turn off the water at the main shut-off valve. Contact a professional plumber to come fix the pipe. 

Don’t forget, we’re available 24/7 to clean up any water damage that may have occurred. It’s important to clean up any water damage quickly and efficiently to prevent further damage from occurring.

Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing this Winter

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

During New York winters, our homes can take a beating from the freezing cold weather. It’s important to prepare your home before the winter weather hits. Failing to prep your home for winter, may result in a costly disaster later. Freezing cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze which causes the pipes to expand and crack or burs which leads to water damage.

Where the pipes in and around your home are, could mean that they are more likely to freeze than others. 

Pipes that are outside your home are the most likely to freeze as they are directly exposed to the cold weather. For these pipes, it’s best to turn off the water to these pipes and drain the pipes. This will ensure that no water can freeze inside allowing for possible cracks to form. 

Pipes located along exterior walls of the home or in areas of the home that are not heated are the next pipes likely to freeze. Consider whether or not areas of your home such as attics, basements, crawl spaces, garages or unused rooms have pipes in and around them. Because these pipes may be important to be left on throughout winter, it is important to insulate them. Special insulation for the pipes can be found at your local hardware store. Thermostatically controlled heat tape will turn on at certain minimum temperatures. This tape keeps the pipes slightly heated to ensure that freezing does not occur.

If you have had pipes that are inside of walls freeze, consider adding insulation in those walls. It’s possible that there is not enough insulation installed as would be recommended in our climate.

Hurricane Cleanup

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

On August 25th, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread devastation throughout Texas and Louisiana. The area was affected by flooding and destruction from the Category 4 hurricane. Houston's total rainfall during this storm exceeded 50 inches of rainwater. 

SERVPRO mobilized Disaster Recovery Teams from around the country to help the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Over 400 teams initially deployed fully equipped with equipment and supplies to perform mitigation and restoration. 

Then on September 10th, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the southwest of Florida. Flooding and wind damage affected Florida and Georgia. Many people lost power, gas and water. Again, SERVPRO dispatched additional Disaster Recovery Teams to help clean up the affected areas and help families affected by the storm. 

After Hurricane Irma landed on the Florida coast, our SERVPRO sent one of our operations managers, Matthew Balch to go down and assist with the clean up. Our thoughts are with those affected by these disastrous storms. We hope that the families affected can recover quickly and get back on their feet. SERVPRO Industries is working as hard and quickly as possible to make sure things run smoothly so that we can help as many people as possible.

Our SERVPRO sent a team down to Florida to help out with the Hurricane cleanup. We are currently helping perform mitigation and restoration in a country club. Our crews are working as quickly as possible so that the country club get get up and running again.

Flood Watch vs. Flood Warning

7/8/2017 (Permalink)

Flood watch vs flood warning - 

We have been hearing on the news a lot lately that there is a "flood watch" or a "flood warning" in effect. It is important to understand the lingo so that we can be prepared for what is ahead of us. Since the beginning of this year, we have gotten record high rain falls. Many areas of New York State have flooded or had possible flood warnings issued. Knowing what to prepare for can save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

A flood watch simply means: be aware. The conditions in your area are right for flooding to occur. 

Steps you should take are: 

Listen to your TV and /or radio to get the latest updates and emergency instructions. Download an app to alert you of possible warnings or instructions to follow if conditions worsen.

Know where to go should you need to seek higher ground.

Check your emergency kit to make sure your ready for anything! Or create one if you don't currently have one. Search the internet for suggestions of what should be included in your emergency kit!

Prepare your house for flooding by moving outdoor furniture inside and moving items to somewhere it won't be damaged should flooding occur in your home. 

Disconnect electrical appliances.

A flood warning means: take action! Flooding is either already underway or will be shortly. 

Steps you should take are:

Immediately move to higher ground. 

Evacuate if instructed. Don't risk putting yourself or others in danger.

Avoid walking or driving through flooded areas. Remember, 6 inches of water can knock you down and 1 ft of water can move your vehicle.

Precautions You Should Take During Flooding

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Precautions You Should Take During Flooding Picture from Syracuse.com

There are certain precautions that should be taken when flooding occurs in order to stay safe. Please consider following these steps to be safe in flooded areas:

Do not walk, drive or ride through flooded areas. You don't know what may be in the water below. It is better to use precaution and not go into the water than to risk drowning, getting hit with a sharp object, fall into an unseen hole or be taken by the fast current. Remember that only 6 inches of water can knock down an adult, less for a child.
When evacuations are necessary, list to local officials and get out while you can. This will save yourself and rescue crews from being put into dangerous situations. 
When flash flooding is possible, move to higher ground. It is better to be safe than sorry. It is easier to move to higher ground before the flooding occurs than to get trapped and not be able to get out. Flash floods are the number 1 cause of weather related deaths in the US according to FEMA.
Avoid driving through flooded areas. One foot of water is enough to move a vehicle and leave you unable to control the vehicle's destination. 
Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall. These ares can quickly flood.
If you have notice of possible flooding, but sand bags around your house in areas that might allow water intrusion. You cannot stop all water intrusions, but this step might save your home from possible water damage.

Preparing for Common Spring Storms

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

It’s finally spring time in upstate New York! AND it finally FEELS like spring! We can’t be happier to break out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors!

However, with spring time comes some unpredictable weather patterns. Something’s we can expect along with the beautiful sunshine are; heavy rain, high winds, and hail. Have you experienced any of these so far? I can attest to seeing heavy rain and high winds! I have also seen warnings to hail in the area.

It is important to be prepared for any weather that might come our way.

Heavy Rain

Before heavy rain comes your way, make sure to check your gutters and down-spouts to ensure they are facing the correct direction and that they are free of any debris that could stop water from flowing through properly. Failing to do this may cause water do back up in the spouts and cause water damage to your roof and ceiling. If your spouts are not facing away from the house, you could have water intruding the foundation of your home causing water damage to your basement or ground level.

High Winds

If you have trees surrounding your home, high winds may cause tree limbs to fall and infringe your roof or side of the house. You may want to trim back any branches that could land on your home causing damage. You should also move inside or tightly secure any outside furniture or decoration that could be blown over or blown away by heavy winds.

Hail

Hail can come in many different sizes. I have seen some hail that is the size of golf balls. This one can be tough to protect your home and belongings from, but make sure anything that can be moved out of harm’s way is. Consider covering anything that cannot be moved from the outside elements to protect it.

We hope you have a happy and safe spring time!

Severe Thunderstorm Preparedness Tips

3/3/2017 (Permalink)

The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 and is a charitable organization that relies on donations and volunteers to carry out their mission. The Red Cross provides disaster relief, blood donations, military family support, training and certification in CPR, lifeguarding and first aid. The Global Red Cross Network can be found in 187 countries throughout the world. SERVPRO began a partnership with the America Red Cross in 2013 and became a Disaster Responder partner in 2016. The Disaster Responder program provides those in need with support, comfort and assistance in times or disaster. Disaster Responders help communities prepare for disasters before they even happen!

Some safety tips the Red Cross recommends in order to prepare for severe thunderstorms are:

  • Listen to the local news via television or the radio for emergency updates.
  • Put off participation in outdoor activities if thunderstorms are predicted.
  • Pay attention to the weather around you. Watch for signs of a storm such as darkening skies, high winds, and lightening. Lightening can happen even without rain.
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued get to a safe location. Find shelter or get in a vehicle with the windows closed.
  • Do not use electronics such as telephones, computers, televisions, etc.
  • Close all windows and doors.
  • Do not take a bath, shower or partake in activities that use running water.
  • If you’re driving, pull safely off the road and use your flashers.
  • Do not touch metal surfaces that can conduct electricity.
  • Stay out of pools, or bodies or water.

For more information on being prepared for storms, go to redcross.org.

What if Your Pipes Freeze

12/20/2016 (Permalink)

As we continue to have freezing weather, we must be aware that the pipes in our homes and businesses could freeze at any time. Last week, I talked about how to keep your pipes from freezing. However, we must be prepared if they do freeze.

Some ways you can tell if your pipes have frozen are…

--If you turn on a faucet and no water comes out.

--If you can see visible frost on the pipes.

When you have discovered that your pipes have frozen, you should immediately turn off the main water valve. It is important for everyone in the home to know where they shut-off valves are in your home. Once the water has been shut off, you should begin to thaw the pipes.

Ways you can do to thaw frozen pipes are…

--Wrap hot clothes or heating pads around the frozen pipes. Leave the cloth on the pipes until they have cooled, if needed repeat this step.

--Put a space heater near the frozen pipes. Ensure that the space heater does not directly touch the pipes.

--Use a blow dryer to thaw the pipes.

--DO NOT use any type of open flame to thaw the pipes, this can damage your pipes and is a fire hazard.

Once the pipes are thawed, you will want to turn the water back on to the home. It is important to inspect your pipes and ensure that the pipes did not burst. Remember, as water freezes it expands. Some pipes cannot hold up to the expanded water and crack or break. A pipe can have a very small crack in it which will slowly leak water and can cause a great deal of damage.

If you find that a pipe has cracked or burst, you will want to turn the water off to that area. Call your local plumber to have them fix or replace the broken pipe before turning the water back on. Should you have any water damage, be sure to call your local SERVPRO. We’ll be sure to get there quickly to start mitigation.

How to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing!

12/15/2016 (Permalink)

As we begin getting below freezing temperatures we need make sure we are following the steps to keep our pipes from freezing. Remember, when water freezes it expands which will cause a pipe to crack. When the pipe thaws water will leak from the pipe. A small pipe can allow up to 250 gallons of water to leak out over the course of one day. Larger pipes will allow more water to spew out. This amount of water can cause a hefty amount of damage to your home or business.

There are some steps we should take to keep pipes from freezing…

First of all, all outside hoses and pipes should be drained and unhooked. These hoses should be properly stored away for the winter.

Make sure to keep garage doors shut. You may want to purchase a window and door insulator kit   (http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-84-in-x-112-in-Indoor-Patio-Door-Window-Insulator-Kit-2144-EP/100143375). This will help keep your home warmer and better insulated from doors and windows which may leak air.

Seal any openings in your home where cold air may get in. You may want to get an expandable calk to help seal any openings.

Properly insulate pipes in attics and crawl spaces. These are areas that are usually unheated, and therefore have the most likelihood of having frozen pipes. Check what grade of insulation is recommended for your area. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=diy.diy_attic_insulation

When your area is experiencing freezing temperatures, make sure to leave cabinet doors open that lead to pipes. This way, the cabinets are exposed to the same about of heat as the rest of your home. Turn your faucets on so that they slowly drip water. This will keep water flowing through the pipes. You will be able to tell if the pipes stop dripping, there is probably ice blocking the pipe.

Leave the heat set to one temperature. This will surely cost you money to leave your heat at one temperature rather than turning the heat down at night or when you’re not home. However, it will stop areas of the home with plumbing from getting too cold and allowing pipes to freeze.

Preparing for a Winter Storm

12/9/2016 (Permalink)

Now that it is winter in Central New York, we must remember how to prepare for a winter storm. All winter long we get warnings of impending snow. Whether we enjoy the winter season or not, we must be ready at any time for a large amount of snow fall, ice storms, or well below freezing weather.

As for any type of impending storm it is suggested to have enough food and water for everyone who lives in the home to last at least three days. The recommended amount of water per person is 3 gallons. The food should be food that doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated. It is also suggested that you have a radio that runs on batteries so you can get updates on what is happening even if the power goes out. Additionally, extra batteries, flashlights and candles should be on hand. If you have a fire place, ensure that the chimney has been cleaned and inspected and that you have wood available. A fireplace, kerosene heaters can be used as alternative heat sources.

There are specific things that can be done right before a winter storm hits. You should fill your gas tank to ensure you have enough gas should you get stuck while traveling. Put blankets and additional winter gear in your car. If possible, you should avoid driving during a winter storm. This will lessen the traffic on the roads and the chance of getting stuck or in an accident.

Check your shovels and snow rakes and put them somewhere that is easily assessable. It is important to keep a shoveled path into your home. Should an emergency arise where emergency responders need to come to the home, it’s important for them to have easy access. Spraying your shovel with WD-40 will stop the snow from sticking to your shovel.

 Make sure your cell phones and other electronics are charged and ready for use.

During the storm, should temperatures dip below freezing you should turn all faucets in your home on so they are slowly dripping. This will help keep pipes from freezing, which could save you in the long run from having to clean up water damage. Leaving the cabinet doors open will help your pipes stay warmer. Wrapping towels or newspaper around your pipes to help insulate them should you lose the ability to heat your home.

Why It's Important to Roof Rake Snow in the Winter

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

Have you ever had large amounts of snow built up on your roof? Ever notice how large icicles can build up after the snow has melted a little and then re-froze? Having large amounts of snow and ice buildup can be damaging to your home.

  • The heavy snow can cause your roof to collapse.
  • When the snow starts to melt and then freezes again, ice can build up on the roof. Ice can be damaging to gutters and downspouts.
  • Ice dams can form causing water damage in your home.

 

Roof rakes can be purchased at most hardware stores. They look like a thin, wide shovel and have an extension pole so that you can stand on the ground to remove the snow from your roof. It can be extremely dangerous to try to get up on the roof covered in snow or to stand on a ladder to remove the snow. The roof rake allows you to stand on the ground and remove the snow.

If ice damming should happen to your home, the affected area of the roof will need to be completely cleaned off in order for mitigation to begin. Otherwise, the snow will continue to leak in through the roof and the drying of materials will not be able to start. Having the roof completely cleaned off can be a very difficult task and often a roofer is needed.

Thunderstorm Safety Tips

6/6/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Thunderstorm Safety Tips Lightning.

Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These causalities are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.


1)      Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.


2)      Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.


3)      Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.


4)      Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.


5)      Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.


6)      If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.