Ontario, you’ve been thunderstruck – Canadian Red Cross Blog

Around here we love the saying: “When the thunder roars go indoors!”

That saying has been especially true this week, when a number of severe summer storms brought thunder, lightning, strong winds and heavy rain to several Ontario communities. On Tuesday, a severe storm knocked down trees and power lines causing damage and leaving a number of homes in the dark in Essex County and Chatham-Kent.

With summer only officially starting this week, we can expect more of these types of storms for the next couple of months. Here’s what we can do to stay safe:

  • Learn the rule of 30/30: If you count less the 30 seconds between lightning and thunder, seek shelter immediately. Each second is equal to 300m, under 30 seconds mean the strikes are within 10k and there is potential for a strike in that area.
  • Avoid things that could attract lightning: In you find yourself outside, avoid sheltering under tall objects like a tree. Also, stay away from objects that conduct electricity such as goal posts, fences, tractors, bicycles and lawnmowers.
  • Get out of open fields: If you are caught in an open field, do not lay flat on the ground. Kneel on the ground with your feet together, your hands on your knees and your body bent forward.
  • Stay away from water:  Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. If you are in a boat get to land as quickly as possible, avoid swimming. Be careful around creeks and rivers that may be subject to flash flooding during a severe storm.

Also keep in mind that while thunderstorms might be super cool for us grown-ups, they can be super scary for kids and pets (my best friends’ 100 lb dog hides in their basement).

So, if thunder starts to rumble, the smart move is to go inside, don’t grumble! (I just made that up – not too bad, huh?)

P.S.  Here’s the song mentioned in the title (in case you didn’t get the reference):


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