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Heat, Humidity Can Lead to Dangerous Thunderstorms

If there is a warning, pay attention.

Summer brings hot, muggy weather that can be ripe for surprise thunderstorms. The American Red Cross offers helpful reminders to slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

You should also wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, but not drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Other steps to take while it’s hot and humid include:

  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
  • IF THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOP, GO INDOORS. If there is thunder, stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap. Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates, using battery-powered TVs and radios, rather than those powered with electricity. In a severe thunderstorm warning, evacuate mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.

    If someone is driving, they should try to exit the roadway and park, stay in the vehicle, turn on the emergency flashers and avoid touching metal surfaces. If someone is stuck outside, they should avoid high ground, water, tall trees and metal objects. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

    After the storm, people should continue to listen to radio or TV for local information and stay away from storm-damaged areas, flooded roadways and downed power lines. They should check on the safety of people who may require special assistance, and keep pets and other animals under direct control.

    Also, folks can prepare for a storm by downloading the American Red Cross First Aid App for iPhone and Android smart phone users. The app gives instant access to safety information at any time.

    If someone has been struck by lightening, call 9-1-1 immediately. Then begin CPR or first aid. If someone hasn’t had Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED training, they can follow the prompts on their American Red Cross First Aid App for iPhone and Android smart phone users.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at