Categorized | Opinion

Is your family safe from storms?

By David Peel

As an injury lawyer and a family man who sees tragedies every day, I try to help to prevent injuries, car accidents, and even unnecessary insurance claims.  Some of you may find yourselves traveling through storm-prone areas, or have beloved relatives and friends who do. You might want to share or forward this article to them.

If you are indoors, as the storms approach:

Put your cars in the garage to protect from hail and debris.

Get inside, and account for everyone and keep them close.

Keep shoes or boots with laces snugly tied on everyone’s feet.

Move to an inside room, bathroom, storm shelter or basement.

Keep your wallet, cash, credit cards and identification in your pockets.

Have a battery-powered radio, flashlights and charged cell phones with you.

Storms need not level your home to hurt you; many folks are injured by flying glass, boards and debris. Stay away from windows: If it is a minor storm, there is nothing to see; if it’s bad, you can’t see at all.

Be aware that sky lights will often break in a hail storm or from thrown debris.

Avoid using electrical appliances, bath tubs or showers should your house be struck by lightning.

Unplug computers and nicer electronics to protect from power surges.

If you are outdoors on foot and taken unaware by a storm:

Cover your head to protect it from hail impacts, and seek inside shelter anywhere you can, even in someone’s car.

Trees are not true protection: they are just lightning rods and shed limbs onto you without warning.

If the storm impacts while you are driving:

Admit you are caught, as you cannot outrun it, so just look for a safer place to stop driving.

A highway overpass, the inside of any open garage, a gas station, or even a car wash will do.

Do not stop closely on the edge of the highway unless you have to, as other drivers may drive into the rear of you trying to follow brake lights.

Do not stop on a bridge or a very low area.

The windshield may not blow entirely out, but side windows often do.

The main idea in the car is to protect your eyes, so, if possible, just lie face down in the back seat.

Cover the eyes of any children in the car with a jacket or even your body.

There is a wealth of storm information, including handy disaster preparedness supply lists, that can be accessed through www.ready.gov.

No one plans to fail, they just fail to plan.

Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.

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