CHIEF’S CORNER: WHEN THUNDER ROARS – HEAD INDOORS! FLASH FLOOD SAFETY

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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 1, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- It’s that time of year when we notice large cumulous clouds forming around southern California. And I love a good thunderstorm!

But remember, these clouds can produce lightning, thunder, hail and heavy rain.

Pay attention to weather forecasts and remember “when thunder roars, head indoors” as a safety precaution. There is no place outside that’s safe when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, that means lightning is close enough to strike you.

  • Stay indoors and away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Be proactive.  If the forecast calls for possible thunderstorms, you may need to change some of your outdoor plans such as hiking, golf, swimming etc.
  • If you are caught outside, immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, ridges or peaks.
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree. Get indoors or remain in your car for at least 30 minutes after the storm passes.
  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. This includes low lying areas, canyons, creeks or washes.
  • Avoid already flooded areas and do not try to cross a flowing stream either by foot or car.  80% of flood deaths occur in vehicles, and most happen when drivers make a single, fatal mistake - trying to navigate through floodwaters reminds Chief DiGiovanna.

During storms make sure you bring in your pets!

For additional weather Flash Flood Safety visit: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/