How to Stay Safe During Summer Storms
Heading out to the coast can be a great way to spend a relaxing summer day in Myrtle Beach, but things can quickly turn dangerous once the sky starts to cloud. Thunderstorms are most common during the summertime, especially in coastal areas like Myrtle Beach, and can result in strong winds and even lightning. In the US alone, an average of 400 people are struck by lightning each year, 10-15% of which die from their injuries. Not only does the ocean attract electricity, making the beach the second-most common area for fatal lightning strikes to occur, but the remoteness of the beach might prevent you from getting to safety in time.
Don’t be disheartened, though. You can still head out for a day by the water while keeping you and your family safe, and as a family-owned security company in Myrtle Beach, we at Coggin Security strive to help people stay safe. We’ll show you what causes summer storms and what you can do to protect yourself.
What Causes Summer Storms?
The quick answer is that warm air causes thunderstorms to occur. The most dangerous time is during the afternoons and evenings when the sunlight is most direct and most likely to heat up the air. If the air is heated enough, it will rise into the sky and create rain clouds, and if the atmosphere is unstable, it will cause a storm.
While you can try to predict a thunderstorm yourself, the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe is to regularly check the forecast through your phone, computer, or television. However, you won’t always be able to check a device, especially if you’re spending time with loved ones outdoors, so make sure to be on the lookout for gathering clouds, a darkening sky, and the sound of thunder.
What to Avoid During a Storm
The best way to keep yourself safe during a summer storm is by knowing where to go and where not to go. There are a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding what you should do in case you’re ever caught in a thunderstorm, so we’ll go over the objects and areas you should avoid in case a storm rolls in.
Our Myrtle Beach security experts recommend finding shelter as quickly as possible, as being inside is one of the best ways to protect yourself from high-speed winds and lightning strikes. A tree or a cliffside won’t cut it- the only safe places to hide during a storm are your house and if you have no other options, your vehicle. If you manage to make it safely inside, you’re not out of the woods yet. Avoid entry points like windows and doors, as strong enough winds can blow these open and risk injuring you. Also make sure to stay away from any objects that might conduct electricity, like the pipes in your sinks and showers, or any electrical appliances in your kitchen. Most modern homes and smart home security systems come with failsafe measures to keep these from electrocuting you, but it’s best to be safe and keep your distance until the storm has blown over.
However, if you’re caught outside at the beach or a park and can’t find shelter quickly, you are at a much higher risk of injury. Thankfully, your chances of actually being struck by lightning are actually quite low. There are a handful of things you can do to better increase your odds of getting back to the security of your home unscathed. If you’re in or near a body of water, such as the ocean or a lake, get out, get dry, and get away. Water attracts electricity, and you’re far more likely to be struck while swimming or spending time on the water. Make sure that you also steer clear of elevated areas like mountains, hills, and trees, as these too will increase your chances of suffering a lightning-related injury or death.
In Case of a Power Outage
Wind and storms are the number one cause of power outages and anyone who has experienced one can tell you how anxiety-inducing they can be. The room goes dark, you hear your air conditioning unit cut off, and you frantically check your phone battery percentage to see how long it will last. However, most power outages can be handled quite well if you implement proper home security solutions and make sure you’re prepared. Having the right items could make the difference between staying safe or putting yourself in danger.
Our Myrtle Beach security experts recommend making sure that you have a flashlight with you and a portable radio, as well as fresh batteries for both. While both of these items have mostly been made obsolete by the invention of the smartphone, your phone may not last through longer power outages, and sometimes having the radio where you can receive updates can mean the difference between life and death. If you have a smart home security system, the loss of power will mean that any home security services you have access to will cease functioning, so make sure to manually lock your windows and doors. It’s also important to always have a decent supply of water and food that doesn’t need to be cooked, just in case you get stuck inside of your home for an extended period of time. In case of injury, it might be a good idea to run out and purchase a first aid kit if you don’t already own one. Make sure that you also have any prescription medication that might need to be taken.
Finally, you should try to make your smartphone battery last as long as possible, especially if you don’t have a landline that can make calls through the phone line itself. If there are multiple people in your household, try switching off everybody’s phones except for one person, and keeping a couple of portable chargers around can help give your battery an extra boost once it starts getting low.
Stay Safe While Having Fun in the Sun
Storms can be scary, even dangerous, but don’t let that stop you from getting outside this summer. You can still get out there and have some fun while keeping you and your loved ones safe. Don’t forget to stay on top of the forecast, and if a storm is coming at the same time that you have an outdoor activity planned, our Myrtle Beach security experts recommend that you consider canceling or postponing.
If a storm sneaks up on you, you can stay safe and protected by knowing what to do and what not to do. Find shelter as quickly as you can and plan carefully. If the storm is bad enough and a power outage occurs, ensuring that you have all the supplies you need can help make the difference between getting caught unaware and being prepared for what lies ahead.
Make sure to keep an eye on the forecast, educate yourself, and purchase any supplies you might need in the event of a fierce summer storm. If you stay informed and make smart decisions, you can avoid dire consequences, and above all else, have fun. Keep you and your family safe by contacting us at Coggin Security about residential home security.