Sharper Management


Summer 2017 is living up to the idea that, if you don’t like the weather in Minnesota wait 5 minutes because it will change. During that change in weather conditions, you may find yourself unexpectedly in a dangerous weather event.

Thunderstorms with high winds and tornadoes are two of Minnesota’s most dangerous weather situations that both can occur with little warning.
Some tips to remember if you ever find yourself caught in one of Minnesota’s weather tantrums include;

General Storm Tips:
Avoid wires and water. If you’re in a building that is struck by lightning, be aware that the electrical charge can surge through pipes and utility wires. By merely touching a toaster that is plugged into the wall outlet, you could get zapped. The same holds true for running water. If your building has been struck, use only wireless devices, and avoid using the water tap until you know it is safe.

Lighting and Trees. Trees are a common victim of a lightning strike because they are generally taller than their surroundings. A tree conducts potentially deadly current into the ground and can even explode from a bolt’s extreme heat. This effect coupled with strong winds make trees a serious risk for you in a storm.

Tingly Hair? Beware. A sign that a lightning strike is imminent is a buzzing sound or if your hair becomes tingly and full of static. If you sense this situation is happening to you, experts say to crouch low to the ground with your feet and shoes touching the ground. Tuck and cover your head and ears. This position provides some protection from a direct lightning strike. When the “electric” sensation passes, keep moving to a building or a car for better protection.

Find Shelter – Your Car. In a tornado, your car is not the best option, but in a lightning or thunderstorm your car is a good choice. Inside the vehicle is safer than outside and it is not because the tires are made of rubber. The car’s body protects you by conducting electricity around the cabin of the vehicle and then into the ground. You should be mindful to avoid door handles and other metal components such as the radio dial as they will also conduct electricity.

Puddles are Tricky. In a heavy rainstorm, puddles can form in areas where roadways may have been washed away making them very dangerous. Even a regular puddle that is a mere 6″ in depth can stall a car engine. A stalled car is vulnerable in the event of a flash flood. Avoid large puddles by driving around them or finding another route.

Tornado Tips:

Go to a windowless interior room on lowest level of your house. Go to a storm cellar or basement if your house has one. If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway or a smaller inner room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.
If your building has a designated storm shelter area, go to it.
Get away from the windows.
Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they tend to attract debris.
Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
Use your arms to protect head and neck.
If you are in a mobile home, get out and find shelter elsewhere.

If You are at Work or School During a Tornado:

Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level.
Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways, or shopping malls.
Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
Use your arms to protect head and neck.

If You are Outdoors During a Tornado:

If possible, get inside a building.
If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building. Beware of flood waters which may also fill low areas.
Use your arms to protect head and neck.
If you are in a car during a tornado:
Never try to drive faster than a tornado in a car or truck. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift a car or truck and toss it through the air.
Get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building.
If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Do NOT get out of a vehicle and climb up under the embankment of a bridge or overpass. This often increases your risk.

We wish you all a safe and joyful summer! Safely enjoy one of the best seasons Minnesota offers.