In north central Texas, thunderstorms and lightning can
strike at any time of the year, quite often unexpectedly. Lightning can occur up to ten miles away from
a storm and may be conducted through a number of surfaces including the
ground. A direct strike is not necessary
for severe injury or death to occur.
Power outages, fires, downed trees and damaged homes are also deadly
threats that may accompany a thunderstorm.
For those reasons and many more, forecasts of severe weather
should be taken seriously. You need to
know what to do when storms approach.
Deafening claps of thunder and bright strikes of lightning
can be unnerving events for adults, but they can be especially frightening for
young children and pets. When preparing
our families for emergencies, it is essential that all members of the family
Children should know where to go to be safe, how to stay in
touch with their parents, family, or friends, and involved in the family
emergency planning process.
Pets and service animals should always be kept in a safe,
secure place, especially if left alone. Shelters
predictably receive more lost pets immediately following storms as a result of
frightened pets running away from home.
If you or someone in your family has an access, medical, or
functional need, make sure to keep an emergency supply kit on hand that
includes any specialty items, such as medical equipment and prescriptions. Remember, loss of electrical power is very
common during a storm, so be sure to include back-up power in your response
plan. As always, it is important for
every member of the family, including pets, to always have several days of food
and water on hand. In case of an
evacuation, be prepared to quickly take important documents, clothes, cash, and
pets with you.
Because disasters can strike at any time, you may not be
home when they occur. You may be at
work, at school, on vacation, or in your car.
Giving some consideration in advance and during your outings to how you
might respond in a storm, or some other crisis, should include being aware of
emergency exits, strong buildings, and other locations that could
provide shelter from the storm. Listen for alert and warning systems, emergency
radio and telephone texts. It is also a
good idea to keep a small kit of emergency supplies in your car.
While these thunderstorm and lightning planning tips are
familiar to most of us, it is always a good idea to review your plans, check
your supplies, and make sure everyone in your family is in the know.
For more information and planning tips refer to www.ready.gov, or contact the Collin County Office of
Emergency Management at 972-548-4383.