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Thunderstorm safety tips and tools for spring

Best products for spring thunderstorms


Although spring is synonymous with sunshine, buds and blossoms, it can also bring harsh weather. Spring thunderstorms can cause serious issues, especially when they arrive with strong winds and rain that may lead to flooding. 

Hopefully, the worst will pass you by, but it's important to be prepared, especially if you live in a flood-prone area. 

Preparing your property for thunderstorms

Check for dead branches

If you have trees on your property, check for any rotting or dead branches that could easily blow down in a storm and remove any you find. Falling branches could damage your home or a member of your household if they step outside at just the wrong moment.

Secure outdoor furniture

In high winds, garden furniture can blow away, damaging property or injuring pedestrians as it does so. For anyone with a storage shed, garage or other outbuilding, the easiest option is to store furniture inside. However, if there's nowhere inside you can stash it, do your best to secure it. 

Unplug nonessential appliances

Thunderstorms can cause power surges that destroy electronics, so unplugging high-value and nonessential items before a storm is a wise move. If you unplug an appliance during a surge, you could be electrocuted, so be sure to do this before a storm arrives, not during the storm. 

Charge devices

Since it's best to unplug electrical appliances before a storm, make sure your devices are charged before it starts, and never use a device on a charger during a thunderstorm. Ideally, avoid running down your phone's battery. Instead, use a laptop or tablet for entertainment, and reserve your phone for emergency use. 

Bring pets indoors

If you have any pets that live outdoors or indoor pets that like to spend a lot of time outside, bring them in before a storm starts. Even if they have a shelter, it isn't enough to protect against lightning or the high winds and rain that can accompany a thunderstorm. 

What you need to stay safe during spring thunderstorms

Flashlights and lanterns

A power cut is a risk in any storm, so make sure you at least have a flashlight on hand in case your power goes out. Battery-powered lanterns are even better for lighting up a larger area, which is great when the power's out for a while. 

Battery-operated devices

In severe thunderstorms, you should avoid using appliances or devices plugged into electrical outlets. You should have a battery- or crank-operated radio that can receive National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather alerts so you can find out when the storm has passed or when conditions have worsened to the point of requiring evacuation. 

Personal hygiene items

When a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, you should avoid using plumbing, so you'll thank yourself for having a stock of personal hygiene products, such as hand sanitizer and wet wipes. 

In case of an emergency

Although lightning itself is unlikely to damage your home, heavy rain can lead to flooding. If you're expecting a serious storm or live in an area where flooding is a regular problem, you'll need emergency supplies. Have a folder somewhere easy to access that contains important documents, such as birth certificates, insurance documents and a list of any phone numbers you might need. 

Have an emergency evacuation plan so you know where to go and the best routes to get out of the house quickly if you need to leave. In case you suffer a power outage or have plumbing issues, you should have enough bottled water to last several days and a supply of nonperishable food that doesn't need cooking. What's more, a first aid kit is always good to have around.

Spring thunderstorm shopping list

Midland Emergency Alert Radio

This compact battery-powered radio receives NOAA weather alerts and even doubles as a flashlight for emergency use. It takes three AA batteries, which come included, but it’s good to have spares.

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Energizer Vision HD Ultra LED Flashlight

With seven lighting modes, including wide beam and strobe, this powerful flashlight is useful in an emergency.

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LE LED Camping Lantern

Casting light 360 degrees, this battery-powered LED lantern is the perfect option to light up a room when the power goes out.

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First Aid Only All-Purpose Essentials Soft-Sided First Aid Kit

Containing a variety of essentials, including adhesive bandages, butterfly wound closures, gauze and aspirin, this first aid kit is a must-have in an emergency.

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The Honest Company Wipes

If your water gets cut off or the storm is so bad you're advised against using plumbing, these wet wipes could see you through a number of sticky situations.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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