Thunderstorm Preparedness for Oklahoma
Because of the location of Oklahoma, the state sees more major thunderstorms per year than nearly any other state.
Thunderstorms can be a beautiful site but are very unpredictable and can cause severe damage to your home, business, and property in a mater of minutes without any warning.
Thunderstorms normally occur during the evening or night but can happen at any time of the day. Most Thunderstorms include lighting and often include high winds over 50 MPH, hail, can cause flash floods and especially in Oklahoma, they can cause tornadoes.
Remember that thunderstorms are serious. In the United States, lighting from thunderstorms kill over 300 people a year and injure another 80.
Here are some tips to be prepared for Thunderstorms.
Preparing for a Thunderstorm and Lightning
- Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a thunderstorm hazard, including understanding the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a severe thunderstorm warning.
- A thunderstorm watch means there is a possibility of a thunderstorm in your area.
- A thunderstorm warning means a thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon. If you are advised to take shelter so immediately.
- Get anemergency supply kit. You can find these at most retail stores in your area.
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
- Use the 30/30 lightning safety rule. If you see lightning and you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder, go indoors. Then stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
Have a Thunderstorm Plan
- If a thunderstorm is likely in your area, postpone outdoor activities.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage, such as trampolines, outdoor grills and lawn furniture.
- Avoid showering or bathing during a thunderstorm. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Watch for darkening skies, lightning, increasing winds.
- Go quickly inside a home, building, or hard top automobile, if possible.
- If an underground shelter is available go there.
- If shelter is not available go to the lowest area nearby and make yourself the smallest target possible but do not lie flat on the ground.
- If on open water, get to land and shelter immediately.
- Things to avoid include:
- Tall, isolated tree in an open area.
- Hilltops, open fields, the beach, a boat on the water, isolated sheds, or other small structures in open areas.
- Stay away from anything metal, such as tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles
- Tune into your local news station on the TV or radio.
- If you have a smart phone, check your weather app on your phone or download a weather app to stay informed.
- Look for community pages on social media such as your local Emergency Management.
- Get a battery operated or hand crank radio to stay informed if the power goes out. (Look for one with a phone charger on it).
- A corded telephone should only be used in an emergency, but cordless phones and cell phones are safe to use.
- Avoid potential flooded roads. Just six inches of water can knock a person off their feet and up to one foot of moving water can push your car off the road.
- Stay safe, do not go storm chasing, leave that to the professionals.
SERVPRO® of Mayes and Wagoner Counties specializes in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration.
If you have any questions, call your SERVPRO® of Mayes and Wagoner Counites, 918-486-1055. 24/7 Emergency Response.