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Spring Severe Weather 101: Storm Safety & Preparedness

As sure as April showers bring May flowers, every spring day brings a greater risk of spring severe weather in the majority of the United States.

According to the National Weather Service, lightning strikes the US around 25 million times a year, killing an average of 51 people annually.

If thunder has been audible within the last 30 minutes, lightning is close enough to strike. Though no outdoor location is safe with lightning in the area, here are few tips to remember if caught outdoors in a thunderstorm:

  • Get out of water. Immediately head toward dry land.
  • Stay low. Avoid hills and other high elevated areas.
  • Avoid conductive objects. Do not seek shelter near metal objects or under solitary trees.

Vehicles with hard metal tops (no convertibles!) can be a safer alternative, though substantial buildings are your safest bet against lightning. While inside, remember the following:

  • Stay away from doors and windows, and avoid direct contact with concrete floors and walls.
  • Avoid using electrical devices and corded phones.
  • Avoid contact with sinks, faucets, showers, or any outside water sources.

Lightning is by no means the only risk. In 2013, flooding took 82 lives in the US while causing over 2 billion dollars in damage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50% of flood-related deaths occur from vehicles being driven into water-covered roadways.

The penultimate rule of thumb in flood safety: Never attempt to cross covered paths or roadways. It only takes six inches of fast-moving water to knock over an adult, while small cars can be swept away in 12 inches.

Spring is the perfect time to review your insurance policy and develop a strategic disaster plan.

In addition to insuring your home, Rue Insurance is committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes. If you would like more information on developing a family emergency plan or building a disaster supply kit, please contact us at 609-586-7474 or today.

For up-to-the-minute severe weather forecast information, visit NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center on the web at

Scott Harrigan

About Scott Harrigan

Scott started his career in insurance in 1988 and joined Rue Insurance in 2004 as a Marketing Specialist focusing on creating effective risk financing and risk transfer programs for companies and non-profit organizations. In addition to this he is a member of the Rue Insurance educational team that provides ongoing professional development in critical insurance concepts and programs to Rue employees. About Scott | More Posts by Scott