Thunderstorm, storm, hurricane: how to behave in bad weather

It is generally advisable to have prior knowledge of dangerous and potentially threatening weather phenomena in order to prepare for and possibly bring them to safety. A variety of warning applications are now available. It is often recommended to use “Nina” or “Warnwetter”. But how do you act if you are surprised by a storm or cannot escape from it?

Severe weather warning: stay home and don’t stand by the window

Rule number one is to stay home. During hail and storms, you should close windows, shutters, and blinds, and stay away from unprotected windows and openings. People get hurt again and again by broken glass when they want to watch storms from the window or even photograph them – which is not recommended at all!

Even when storms and thunderstorms are announced, you should secure your movable property like bikes, garden furniture, cars, etc. or store it perfectly in your garage or basement. The Federal Bureau of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) recommends unplugging sensitive electronic devices from the mains or using a commercially available surge protector. Also, have a cell phone and a flashlight on hand in case the power goes out. Also think about pets. They are afraid and feel more comfortable in the stable or at home.

It is better to go to an inner room on the ground floor. Since violent storms can cover roofs, attics should be avoided. The same applies to basement rooms – they can be flooded and become a trap. There are also accidents where people are subjected to electric shocks in partially underwater basements.

If you get caught on the way by a storm

If a storm is declared, you should not walk, jog, or even take a stroll. But what if you’re still surprised by a storm on the way? It is best to seek shelter in a stable building as soon as possible. Because outdoors you can bump into things. However, BBK advises avoiding rooms with large ceilings, such as gyms, during strong storms.

Every child already learns to stay away from trees during thunderstorms. But mountaintops, towers, masts and antennas should also be avoided due to the risk of lightning strikes. You also should not lean on fences. You should also stay away from overhead power lines at least 50 meters away. “During a thunderstorm, avoid touching objects with metal parts, such as umbrellas and bicycles,” says the BBK website.

For example, if there is no protection while hiking, put your face on the ground in case of cold and protect your head and neck with your hands! If there is no protective building in sight during a thunderstorm, BBK recommends sitting on the balls of your feet with your feet close to each other, if possible in a hollow.

If you see a hurricane, run! Watch the direction the tornado is moving. Then don’t waste time and drive in the opposite direction as fast as you can.

In principle, you are safely in the car during a thunderstorm. So stay in the car but don’t touch any bare metal parts. However, do not drive in low sections of the road such as tunnels. This water can submerge quickly. Also avoid getting close to bodies of water.

Precautionary measures even after the storm

If the dwelling is damaged after a storm, you should move out and not re-enter until you have been cleared by professionals such as the fire department – the same goes for flooded basements. In addition to the previously mentioned electric shock hazards, hazardous substances such as heating oil were leaked here.

Electronic devices should only be operated if they are not wet. Before cleaning, you should examine and document exactly what the storm has broken.

Be careful when entering the forest. Even after a storm there is a risk of injury from falling loose branches or broken trees.

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