Severe weather and thunderstorms are moving across Florida today and could affect the area. The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes(FLASH) offers the following tips for residents to stay safe.

  1. Stay inside a sturdy building and stay tuned to a battery-operated radio for weather information.
  1. If you are caught outdoors, avoid natural lightning rods such as tall, isolated trees in an open area or the top of a hill and metal objects such as wire fences, golf clubs and metal tools.
  1. Bring outdoor items in. If you have furniture and other outdoor equipment on your patio or deck, bring them inside when strong weather threatens.
  1. Turn Around Don’t Drown! More deaths occur due to flooding each year than from any other thunderstorm or hurricane related hazard. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Water only two feet deep can sweep away most automobiles.
  1. Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads.  
  1. Avoid areas 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.
  1. Don’t allow children to play near high water, storm drains or ditches. Hidden dangers could lie beneath the water.
  1. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flooded roads.
  1. Anticipate a possible power outage. If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, consider filling plastic containers with water, leaving about an inch of space inside each one (remember, water expands as it freezes so it is important to leave room in the container for the expanded water). Place the containers in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold if the power goes out.
  1. Now is the time to back up computer files and operating systems.
  1. Keep a supply of flashlights, batteries and a battery-powered radio on hand. Do not use candles as they pose a fire hazard.

 

For more home and family safety tips visit www.protect-your-home.org or www.flash.org.