A thunderstorm can be both frightening and potentially very dangerous.
Lightning and high winds
Lightning strikes can cause fires, explosions and potentially fatal injuries by electrocution. High winds can break large branches of trees, dislodge roof tiles and generally turn anything not fastened down into potentially lethal missiles capable of inflicting serious injuries by falling or flying objects.
Both lightning and high winds can cause power and phone lines to come down, resulting in the all-too-familiar power cuts that no British thunderstorm seems to come without. There are several potential risks here:
- Being caught in the dark can result in injuries by tripping and falling
- Downed phone lines could prevent calling of emergency services in case of fire or personal injuries necessitating medical assistance
- Once power returns, power spikes can literally ‘fry’ sensitive electronic equipment
Dangers of flooding
After a severe thunderstorm, flooding can also cause all sorts of mayhem. Flooring, carpets and furniture in downstairs areas, for example, can be severely damaged by flood waters.
Contaminated water supplies can cause an array of serious, even fatal diseases, and then, of course, there is the risk of being injured by slips, trips and falls.
Preparing for a thunderstorm
This information makes it obvious that you should prepare for emergencies when you know a storm is on the way. This includes:
- Getting a torch, mobile phone and spare batteries ready
- Unplugging any unnecessary electrical and electronic equipment
- Securing doors and windows
- Drawing curtains
- Sheltering and securing pets and other livestock
- Bringing in any toys, garden furniture and other outdoor items
- Securing rubbish bins by filling them with water
Having some waterproof footwear and clothing, as well as bottled water, ready just in case of flooding may also be advisable, especially if you live in an area that is prone to flooding.
Preventing thunderstorm injuries
If at all possible, you should remain indoors to prevent injury by lightning, being hit by falling objects and injuries by trips, slips or falls.
A little aside
Did you know, by the way, that if you are injured by a slip, trip or fall at work, in a shop, restaurant or any other public location, you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim?
Find out more about claiming by giving us, Accident Advice Helpline, a call on 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, today. Both of these freephone numbers are confidential, obligation-free and open 24 hours every day of the year.
Date Published: April 29, 2016
Author: Accident Advice