With millions headed outdoors to enjoy fireworks, barbecues, parades and other events this Fourth of July, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® provides these tips in event of the following weather conditions:
- Stay alert and listen carefully for the first signs of lightning or thunder. Remember, “If Thunder Roars, Go Indoors™.”
- Seek shelter. Lightning often hits before the rain begins, so don’t wait for the rain to start before heading inside.
- Avoid water, high ground and open spaces.
- Stay away from metal objects including wires, fences and motors.
- Find shelter in a sizable building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle like a car or truck. Completely close the windows and don’t lean on the doors.
- Don’t get under a small canopy, small picnic shelter or near trees.
- If you cannot take shelter indoors, crouch down with your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from the thunder.
- Stay at least 15 feet away from other people.
- The coolest part of the day is normally sunrise, so plan any necessary strenuous activity for the morning.
- Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine.
- Drink plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty as water is most hydrating liquid to drink during a heat wave. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can intensify the negative effect of heat on your body.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect some of the sun’s energy.
- Never leave children, elderly or pets in the car even with the windows down. Although the outside air temperatures may seem comfortable, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise 40 to 50 degrees and swiftly create deadly, oven-like conditions.
- Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Get to higher ground. Stay away from flood-prone areas, including dips, low spots, valleys, ditches, washes, etc.
- Avoid flooded areas or those with rapid water flow. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet.
- Don’t allow children to play near high water, storm drains or ditches. Hidden dangers could lie beneath the water.
- Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. NEVER drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Water only one foot deep can float most automobiles.
- Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly when threatening conditions exist.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
- Monitor NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio or your local media for vital weather related information.
For severe weather alerts no matter where you are, download the FLASH Weather Alerts smartphone app. Learn more at www.flashweatheralerts.org. For more information on how you can make your home stronger and family safer during severe weather, visit www.flash.org.