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Are you prepared for the next thunderstorm?

• Jun 14, 2017 at 7:00 PM

The first day of summer is less than a week away, but already temperatures in Northwest Ohio have made their way into the 90s. As Ohioans know, the weather can change from hot and humid into severe thunderstorms quickly.

Even with scattered thunderstorms forecasted for this week, there are many people that may not be prepared for what to do during severe weather.

Huron County Public Health (HCPH) officials are urging all residents to be ready for thunderstorms and other severe weather conditions this summer.

According to Ready.gov, lightning is among the top three storm-related causes of death in the United States. Besides lightning, thunderstorms may also produce flash flooding, high winds or lead to the formation of tornadoes.

Before a storm hits, it is important to gather supplies for an emergency kit. Having an emergency kit during a crisis can help Huron County residents and their families stay safe.

Some basic emergency kit supplies include:

• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio

• Flashlight and extra batteries

• First aid kit

• Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)

• Local maps

• Cellphone chargers

• Non-perishable food (enough for 3 days)

• Water (one gallon of water per person per day for 3 days)

Also don’t forget about other items such as medications, glasses, food and water for pets, and items for children. Including books, games and puzzles in an emergency kit can help occupy children when other electronics may not be working.

Another part of preparing for a storm is knowing what emergency alerts mean so appropriate action can be taken. A thunderstorm watch tells the public when and where a thunderstorm or tornado is likely to occur. When a watch is issued consider postponing outdoor activities, shutting windows, and outside doors, and securing other outdoor objects from being blown away. Gather emergency kits and supplies to be easily accessed should a thunderstorm occur.

A thunderstorm warning means that thunderstorms have been reported or spotted. When a thunderstorm warning is issued take action.

• Take shelter if you are outside

• Stay away from windows and doors

• Avoid taking a shower, washing dishes, or doing laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity

• Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach, or open water

• Avoid contact with metal

Knowing how to react before and during a storm can help keep Huron County residents safe.

Remember, once a storm has passed there may be flooded roadways, downed power lines, and other damage from the storm. Never drive through a flooded roadway, report any downed power lines, and avoid them along with other debris. For more information about emergency preparedness, visit www.huroncohealth.com or www.ready.gov.

To sign up for Huron County emergency alerts (Everbridge Alerts) visit www.huroncountyema.org.

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