6 things you should never do at home during severe weather
Follow these tips to stay safe in severe weather in your home.
1. Never run a generator indoors during a power outage
A generator is the best thing to have in a blackout. But it can make you blackout (or die). Hurricane Katrina led to more than 50 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. Like any internal combustion engine, a generator engine exhausts carbon monoxide gas, which can give you a headache, knock you out, or even kill you. This is easy to avoid, though: Don’t run a generator in your garage or porch, and keep it at least 3 metres from your house.
2. Never talk on the phone
Your home is probably the safest place to be in an electrical storm. But here’s a safety tip you may not know. Lightning can still get to you through the conductive paths in your house; that means your wiring, your plumbing, and water.
Talking on a corded phone, taking a shower or bath, working on your desktop computer, or handling power tools during an electrical storm isn’t much safer than standing outside. It’s best to stay away from all water and appliances until the storm passes.
3. Never not be aware of your safe place
Whether you’re at home or the office, know where you’re going to go during severe weather. If you don’t have access to an underground shelter, move to the interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
Take a few minutes and put together a family survival plan. It’ll help keep your loved ones and your home safe. Keep in mind these everyday fixes to survive everything.
4. Never board up windows during a storm
The time to board up your windows is on a calm, sunny day before a storm arrives. If you wait until a tropical system starts bringing wind and rain to the area, you’re endangering yourself. Large boards could be blown out of your hands, becoming a dangerous projectile.
Listen to the forecast and make a decision several days in advance whether you’re going to board the windows or not.
5. Never look out the window!
We all know that windows are dangerous during storms, but what do most people do when they hear a severe weather warning? They run right to the window to see what they can see. In high winds, windows can easily brake sending glass and other debris inside!
6. Never get shocked in a flooded home
If your home has been inundated over electrical wiring, power outlets, electric hot water systems or other electrical installations (including switchboards), organise a licensed electrical contractor to check the premises as soon as flooding or water has abated. Do not touch them and do not attempt to unplug them or test them in any way.
All electrical appliances affected by water should be inspected by a qualified electrician before use. No matter whether the water on an appliance came from a flood, or through general storm damage, never turn on the power to an appliance until it has been checked first.
Written by Elizabeth Flaherty. Republished with permission of Handyman.