CYPRESS – High humidity and warm temperat­ures in our region are key ingredients for severe weather during the summer months. According to the National Weather Service, the biggest threats associated with most thunderstorms are lighting and flash floods. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) offers the following safety tips to stay safe this summer.

During thunder and lightning

  • When thunder roars, go indoors. Find a safe, enclosed shelter.
  • The main lightning safety guide is the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
  • If no shelter is available, crouch low, with as little of your body touching the ground as possible. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly from over 100 feet away.
  • Stay away from concrete floors or walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
  • Do not seek shelter under a tree or near tall objects. Lightning will search for the tallest point in an area to strike.
  • Finally, do not go near any bodies of water, such as a pond, lake, swimming pool or the beach.

During a flash flood

  • Monitor weather conditions.
  • If flooding begins in your area, go to higher ground immediately.
  • When driving, always be aware that the road bed under flood waters may be severely damaged. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Remember that it takes only two feet of water to carry away a vehicle, including pickups and SUVs.
  • When walking, do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Remember that it takes only six inches of rushing water to knock an adult off his feet.
  • If your vehicle stalls, get out immediately and go to higher ground.
  • Be extra cautious at night, when it is harder to see possible flood dangers.
  • These four words could save your life: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.

Prepare in advance of a storm. Download the Ready Harris App or go to www.readyharris,org to sign up to receive updates on local weather conditions and to get help creating an emergency plan. You can also follow HCOHSEM on Twitter and Facebook.

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