Thunderstorm Safety In Northwest Alabama
Thunderstorms occur throughout the year in the Shoals area. They are most common in the summer, but most severe in the spring and fall, when destructive winds and tornadoes occasionally occur.
If thunderstorm and lightning are occurring in your area, you should:
- Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
- Avoid contact with corded phones and devices including those plugged into electric for recharging. You can use cordless and wireless phones not connected to wall outlets.
- Don’t go near electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers. Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
- Stay away from the plumbing. Don’t wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes or do the laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Stay away from windows and doors. Stay off porches.
- Do not lie on concrete floors. Don’t lean against concrete walls.
- Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
- Try to stay away from hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.
- Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
- Don’t touch anything metal—tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs and bicycles.
- If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Try not to touch metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.