Basically an electrical storm is a storm that produces lightening. A lightening storm can occur without thunder but not vice versa.
As I sit here writing this I can hear the rain pelting outside and thought that it would be the ideal time to blog about safety in an electrical storm. In Western Australia electrical storms are most prevalent from May until October and cause no end of havoc and mess.
Be prepared for electrical storms. Trim the trees and branches around your property. Lightening can strike the tree and cause damage to your house or car (and even yourself) if it causes a brach to fall. Clear away any outdoor furniture that will be redundant until the spring. In a storm these items can become airborne and are potentially dangerous. Repair loose guttering, roofing sheets or fences. Make sure that you have cleared the gutters on your property and finally have an emergency kit ready. The kit could contain first aid items, a battery operated torch and a battery operated radio could also come in handy. If you have had prior warning of the pending storm, charge your mobile phone.
When the Storm Hits
Keep your mobile phone at hand. Avoid using the landline telephone.The lightning can hit the phone line and travel for half a kilometre and come out the hand piece when you are using it. Unplug (not just switch off) all of the electrical appliances. Keep pets indoors if possible, if not ensure that they have adequate protection outdoors. Keep away from windows and refrain from going outdoors. If you are already outdoors when an electrical storm hits take cover away from trees, power lines or rivers.
If you happen to be out driving during an electrical storm slow down and turn on your headlights. Remember that you are in one of the safe test places whilst in the car as it acts as a conductor to the lightening. Be aware that the roads will become very slippery (particularly if there is rain after a long dry spell). Pull over to one side (not under a tree though!) and wait until the storm subsides if visibility becomes poor. It’s amazing how many idiots I see speeding along (over the speed limit) with no lights on in the midst of a bad storm. Evidently they are unaware of the hazards!