Nature

Severe Weather Safety Tips for Texans This Spring

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Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds. Do not seek shelter in a mobile home. Go to the nearest sturdy shelter.  Do not wait to take action until you see the tornado.

If you see the tornado while driving, and it is not noticeably moving to the left or right, it is likely moving towards you. If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows and cover your head with your arms. If you can safely get lower than the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area. DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER HIGHWAY OVERPASSES. People have been killed attempting to shelter in this way.

Lightning
Lightning Safety
Photo: Savannah Weingart

Between 2005 and 2014, 20 people were killed in Texas by lightning, ranking it the second deadliest state for lightning fatalities.

When storms are forecast for your area, consider postponing outdoor activities. If it takes less than 30 seconds to hear thunder after seeing the flash, lightning is close enough to pose a threat. After the storm ends, wait 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities.

Enclosed buildings with wiring and plumbing provide the best protection. Sheds, picnic shelters, tents or covered porches do NOT protect you. If a sturdy building is not nearby, get into a hard-topped metal vehicle and close all the windows.

If no shelter is available, avoid open areas. Stay away from isolated tall trees, towers, or utility poles. Avoid metal conductors such as wires, fences, or railroad tracks. Metal does not attract lightning, but lightning can travel long distances through it.

Cardiac arrest is the immediate cause of death for victims. Some deaths can be prevented if the victim receives the proper first aid. Call 9-1-1 and begin first aid. Do not delay CPR. Use an Automatic External Defibrillator if one is available.