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Severe weather safety tips: Be prepared before it arrives

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 2:53 PM -

Severe storms are racing through southern Ontario, prompting tornado warnings. Active weather is expected in southern Alberta as well, with severe thunderstorm potential for the City of Calgary.


EXTENDED ACTIVE WEATHER COVERAGE: Tune in to The Weather Network for live updates on the summer storms in your area. Our team of reporters and meteorologists in the field provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date coverage.


Residents are being advised to take cover immediately should severe weather develop.

Here are a few tips that can help keep you safe, courtesy of The Weather Network and the Canadian and American Red Cross.

LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS

  • Stay away from windows.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Do not use the telephone.
  • Avoid running tap water.
  • Try to reach a safe building or vehicle (picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT  considered safe).
  • Avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers.
  • If you are out on the water, get to land and find shelter immediately.

IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

  • Call for help / dial 911.
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned or have other injuries.
  • People who have been struck by lightning do not retain an electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Give first aid. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.

Environment Canada offers a 30-30 rule. If you can count 30 seconds or less between seeing a lightning flash and hearing the thunder, take shelter and stay there until 30 minutes after you last hear thunder. 


KEEP ON TOP OF ACTIVE WEATHER: Visit the Alerts section of the website


TORNADO SAFETY TIPS

  • Should a tornado develop, seek underground shelter when possible -- preferably in a basement.
  • In the absence of an underground room opt for a windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a solid building.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado.
  • Keep cell phone and/or battery-operated radio handy so you can keep on top of tornado watches and warnings.
  • DO NOT go outside if a tornado is imminent or occurring in your area.

SEVERE WEATHER WARNING SIGNS

  • Large hail
  • Strong winds
  • Debris clouds and tree damage
  • Torrential rain 
  • Severe thunder/lightning
  • Dark, often greenish clouds
  • Funnel clouds

Watch: The latest public alerting system, Alert Ready, from The Weather Network

Tornado, severe thunderstorm potential in southern Ontario
Severe thunderstorms expected in Alberta Foothills
Severe floods sweep away cars in Quebec
Two Canadians arrested in Malaysia, blamed for causing quake

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