Lightning is the underestimated killer dangerous for the common gentry. Lightning is abrupt electric expulsion either from cloud to cloud or from cloud to earth followed by the emission of light. Lightning generally strikes after heavy rain and can also occur about 10 miles off from rainfall. Most lightning victims are when people are captivated outdoors in summer during afternoon and evening.
Facts about lightning
In the United States, an estimate of about 25 million lightning flashes each year. Throughout the time of the last 30 years, lightning put to death an average of 66 people each year. The reported lightning injuries in the United States average approximately 300 each year.
The threat of lightning goes on quite longer than what people think actually. You may wait not less than 30 minutes after the last strike of thunder before you leave the shelter. As you see lightning approaching, count the seconds and you will hear the thunder. Always seek shelter wasting no time.
Never get fooled by the sunshine. If the sky is cloudy or mountains or buildings hide your vision, you must keep inside immediately. Most injuries and deaths with lightning occur in the summertime. The outdoor sports activities, camp counselors, coaches, and other activities are often at the greatest risk. It is always safe to have the best precautions. Having some common sense, you can not only increase your safety but also the safety of the people around you.
- Monitor the weather before going outdoors. If lightning is forecast, stay indoors.
- Make a plan in advance to make your safety and evacuation measures. As you first notice lightning, get your emergency plan in action.
- Know all the emergency telephone numbers and also of the authorities.
- Immediately go to a building or a vehicle.
- Avoid the plumbing appliances and fixtures.
- Do not employ showers or faucets.
- While in a car, stay till the storm passes.
- While in a boat, go to shore at once.
- If in the forest, go out at once. If you cannot, proceed to a low-level area that has low and thick tree growth.
- If in the open area, go to a lower area. Do not lie on the ground.
- Do not enter the steel built concrete buildings or go near the metal objects.
- Avert beaches, hilltops, open water and small constructions in open.
- Hair standing on end indicates that lightning will strike. Immediately drop to your knees and bend forward. Do not lie flat but put your hands on the knees.
- Do not come together or cluster together with other people.
- Do not use a telephone or other electrical equipment.
- Follow the 30-30 rule and stop all your activities at first clap thunder.
- Do not panic and follow the orders of the authorities.
- The injured persons do not have electrical charge in their body and should be taken care.
- Use all First Aid methods to help the lightning victim. Problems such as cardiac arrest, irregularities, nerve damage, burns are common. Call 911 or send for medical help at once.
Flood is one of the most common hazards in the United States and other parts of the world. The effects of flood may be local to a neighborhood or community. If it casts a large impact, the whole river basin and multiple states can be affected. Each state is at risk due to this hazard.
All floods are not the same. Some floods take time to develop and at times they may take just a few days time. Flash floods may build up quickly even without any noticeable signs of rain. They have a grave wall of loud water-bearing rocks, mud, and debris carrying along. Flooding is also caused by dam breaking and causing the effects like flash floods.
You should be cautious of a flood, no matter where you live. Be especially alert, if you reside in low lying areas or near water or downstream from a dam. The small gullies, streams, culverts, creeks, streambeds can also flood.
Before the Flood
- Do not build the floodplain except you may elevate and support your home.
- Lift up the water heater, electric board, furnace if they are liable to flood.
- Install the check valves in sewer holes to put off flood water from clogging in the drains in or near your home.
- Make barriers to block off floodwater from flowing in the building.
During the Flood
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Turn off all the utilities when instructed to do so and also otherwise.
- Do not touch the electric equipment being wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk by the moving water because six inches of flowing water can make you fall. If you really need to walk in water, go where water is not flowing. You can take a stick to ensure the firmness of the ground in your front.
- While driving, do not go in the flooded areas. If you get caught in floodwaters, you should leave your car and if you can, take refuge to high ground.
- Be alert of streams, canyons, drainage channels, and other areas where flood is possible. These are the areas where a flood can happen suddenly without prior alert or even rain.
After a Flood
- Listen to news reports and know whether the water supply of your community is safe to drink.
- Do not face the floodwaters as it may be dirty with oil or sewage. It may even be charged electrically from the drowned power lines.
- Do not enter the areas where the floodwaters have affected. The roads can be weak and can collapse due to the weight of the car.
- Come back home only when authorities tell you to do so.
- Clean and sterilize everything that got drowned in the flood water. The mud left in the floodwater can have sewage and chemicals that can be very dangerous.
Tornado is one of the most violent storms on earth. A tornado looks like a rotating and funnel shape cloud. It expands from the thunderstorm to the ground by way of whirling winds reaching about 300 miles per hour. The damage path can move on to one mile wide and 50 miles long. A tornado may strike quickly with small or no warning.
A tornado may appear almost transparent till it picks up the dust and debris or a cloud makes up in the funnel. On an average, a tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but it may move from any direction. Tornadoes are followed by tropical storms and hurricanes as they move on land. The tornadoes made over water are called Waterspouts.
Most frequently, tornadoes are accounted in the east of Rocky Mountains in the spring and summer months. March is the high tornado season in southern states and ranges through May. In the northern states, the time of tornado is late spring by early summer. It is likely for tornadoes to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tornadoes can cause victims and losses. It may devastate your neighborhood in a few seconds.
Preparing for Tornado
- Look for the approaching storms. Before the tornado hits, the wind may stop blowing. You may see a cloud of debris marking the location of the tornado. Tornadoes may happen close to the trailing edge of a thunderstorm.
- The sky becomes dark and often greenish. You may see clear and sunlit sky behind the tornado.
- Tornado has a loud roar, almost like a freight train.
- Listen to weather radio or commercial radio or television for the latest information about the tornado.
- As you see the approaching tornado, immediately be prepared to take shelter.
- Take cover and stay off from windows, doors, walls and open space.
- Protect your self from falling debris.
- If in a vehicle, get out at once and take shelter in a substantial structure.
- If you do not find any shelter, you may lie flat in a nearby ditch with your hands covering your head.
What to do throughout a Tornado
- Reach to basement or storm cellar or the last level of a building.
- You can also go to the inner hallway or the little small room with no windows.
- Do not go near the windows.
- Get under the piece of strong furniture.
- Cover your head and neck with your arms.
- When in a mobile home, you should move out and take your shelter somewhere else.
What to do after a Tornado
- After the tornado, you may see much debris. Take care of your safety.
- Listen to radio or television to have the recent emergency information.
- Help the injured and trapped persons. Give them first aid and don’t try to move in the seriously injured.
- Keep your way off the damaged buildings.
- Come back home when authorities declare that it is safe.
- Use the telephone only in an emergency.
- Clean spilled medicines, gasoline or any sort of flammable liquids.
- Leave the building if you smell gas or any chemical fume.
Supplies to face Tornado
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Handy, battery-operated radio with additional batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency water and food
- Non-electric can opener
- Important medicines
- Credit cards
- Tough shoes
Water is one of the most essential nutrients for our living. Strictly from the point of view of survival, water is something that the person wants the most. The affected person may lose all the stored fat, carbohydrate and half of the total protein in the body without getting in actual danger.