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Summer Storm Safety

Another significant storm affecting the area is on its way and Chatham-Kent Fire & Rescue wants to remind residents what to do when hazardous weather approaches. 

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, severe thunderstorms are expected starting this afternoon/evening. Damaging winds and tornadoes are the main hazards, but heavy rain (flash floods) and toonie-sized hail are also possible across the municipality.

Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) reported South Buxton was hit by an EF1 tornado and a weaker EF0 tornado also touched down in Petrolia on Thursday of last week.

"With the confirmation of two tornadoes in our area, we are thankful that no one was hurt," says Chief Ken Labonte. "The family knew what to do, they immediately went down the basement."

CKF&R recommends preparing now with a 72-hour emergency kit. Be ready to live without power, gas, and water. Gather food, water, and medicine before the storm hits. 

"Know the difference between a watch and a warning," explains Public Information Officer, Whitney Burk. "A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in and near your area. A warning means a tornado is near and you need to move to a safe location right away. The best protection is a smaller room with no windows on the lowest level."

Monitor local weather, as an alert can come through in many forms, including radio, television or on your cellphone.  Have a backup way to charge your phone or have a crank radio if the power goes out.

Signs of dangerous weather include, an extremely dark sky, sometimes highlighted by green or yellow clouds. A rumbling sound or a whistling sound. A funnel cloud at the rear base of a thundercloud, often behind a curtain of heavy rain or hail.

With damaging winds except for downed wires. Assume that downed power lines are energized. Never try to move downed wires or remove tree limbs. Keep people and pets at least 10 meters (33 feet, or the length of a school bus) away from downed overhead power lines and warn others of the danger. In case of an emergency call 9-1-1.

The area is also under a heat warning.