The Phoenix Fire Department has put together tips to help local families stay safe when a big storm hits.
Lightning is attracted to metal and water and often strike the tallest objects. You are in a strike zone if you hear thunder five seconds or less after you see lightning!
• Stay away from wide, open areas such as fields and golf courses.
• Stay off hilltops and other high points of land.
• Don't stand near trees or tall poles.
• Get at least 7 feet away from tall objects.
• Avoid metal objects such as golf carts and clubs, lawn mowers and pipes.
• Get to the lowest point of ground you can, and kneel or squat to minimize your contact points with the ground.
• Do not lie flat. This will make you a bigger target.
• Don't huddle with others. Spread out at least 15 feet apart.
• Remove golf shoes or steel-toed boots.
• If you're out on the water, get to land.
• If you're in a pool, get out.
Downed power lines:
• Stay at least 100 feet away.
• If the power line has fallen on your car while you're in it, don't touch anything metal in the car, and stay inside until professional help arrives.
• Never try to help someone trapped by a power line. You endanger your own safety. Instead, call 911 immediately.
• Stay away from windows during strong winds. Tree limbs and other objects can be a hazard.
• Electrical wiring attracts lightning. Don't use the telephone, except for emergencies.
• Lighting can move through a home's plumbing, attracted to the metal or water. Don't use sinks and showers.
• Unplug computers, TVs and other delicate electronic equipment. Consider attaching surge protectors to such equipment.
Driving safety in dust:
• Don't enter a dust storm if you can avoid it.
• Turn headlights on and drive a slow and prudent speed.
• If you pull off the road, get as far to the right as possible. Turn off the car and headlights, and set the parking brake. Keep your foot off the brake pedal - other drivers may think you're a car is moving.
Driving safety in rain:
• Rain reduces traction and causes streets to be slippery. Slow your speed accordingly.
• Water on roads may be deeper than it looks. Watch for vehicles traveling too fast. They can throw up blinding sheets of water.
• Don't cross rain-swollen washes. You can be caught in a flash flood that can sweep you and your vehicle away.
• Pay attention to hazard signs and roadblocks. Ignoring them threatens life and property, and can result in enforcement action by police.
Stuck in a wash:
• It is possible to lose control of a vehicle in 6 inches of water. Most vehicles will begin to float in 2 feet of water.
• If you have a phone, call 911.
• If you can, climb onto the roof and wait to be rescued.
• If the water is still low and you can wade to safety, do so, but beware of floating debris.