Severe Thunderstorms

Be Weather Prepared

Severe weather can occur any time of the year, winter or summer. Make it a habit to listen to the local radio or television stations for severe weather warnings and advice. Make sure you have a battery-powered radio on hand; electricity frequently fails during a severe storm.

Secure everything that might be blown around or torn loose - indoors and outdoors. Flying objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture can injure people and damage property. If hail is forecast, you may want to protect your vehicle by putting it in the garage.

Never venture out in a boat. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately. Always check the marine forecast before leaving for a day of boating and listen to weather reports during your cruise.

If you are outdoors when a storm hits, take shelter immediately. If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Take your emergency kit with you.

STAY CALM. You will be able to cope better with emergencies.


To estimate how far away the lightning is, count the seconds between the flash of lightning and the thunderclap. Each second is about 300 meters. If you count fewer than 30 seconds, look around for shelter; if fewer than five seconds, take shelter urgently. Lightning is near and you do not want to be the tallest object in the area. It is recommended to wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike in a severe storm before venturing outside again.

At the Office or at Home

If indoors:

  • Stay there, but away from windows, doors, fireplaces, radiators, stoves, sinks, bathtubs, appliances, metal pipes, telephones and other materials which conduct electricity (you can use a cellular telephone).
  • Unplug radios and televisions.
  • Do not go out to rescue the laundry on the clothesline, as it conducts electricity.

If outdoors:

  • Take shelter, preferably in a building; failing this, in a depressed area such as a ditch or a culvert, but never under a tree.
  • Do not ride bicycles, motorcycles and golf carts - or use metal shovels and golf clubs - as they conduct electricity.
  • If caught in the open, do not lie flat but crouch in the leapfrog position and lower your head.
  • If you are in a car, stay there but pull away from trees where heavy branches might fall on you.

The Municipality of Powassan
250 Clark Street PO Box 250 Powassan, ON P0H 1Z0 | Phone: 705-724-2813 | Fax: 705-724-5533 |

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