October 1, 2014

Emergency Management Issues Safety Tips for Thunderstorms

 

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) forecast scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms for the Antelope Valley, Catalina Island, Los Angeles County Mountains, Santa Clarita Valley, San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley areas. To help prepare residents and businesses for thunderstorms and lightning, the following are some safety tips:

No place outside is safe in or near a thunderstorm. Stop what you are doing and get to a safe place immediately. Remember small outdoor buildings, including dugouts, rain shelters, sheds, etc., are not safe.

If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you and you should move to a safe shelter: a substantial building with wiring and plumbing (office building, school and home offer good protection). Once inside, stay away from windows, doors and anything that conducts electricity such as corded telephones, computers and other equipment.

Electrical charges can linger in clouds after a thunderstorm has passed; experts recommend that people should wait at least 30 minutes after the storm before resuming activities.

Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk:

• Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks.

• Never lie flat on the ground, under an isolated tree; use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.

• Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water.

• Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills).

For additional information, please go to http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/.

Los Angeles County residents and businesses, including persons with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, may call 211 LA County for emergency preparedness information, and other referral services. The toll-free 2-1-1 number is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. 211 LA County services can also be accessed at http://211la.org.

To register for the Specific Needs Awareness Planning program please go to https://snap.lacounty.gov. For disaster/emergency preparedness information, please access http://lacoa.org and/or http://espfocus.org.

Ken Kondo, Emergency Program Manager/PIO

County of Los Angeles Office of Emergency Management, (323) 980-2267