Minimizing Thunderstorm Damage
In the heat of the summer, churches constantly face the threat of thunderstorms and the damage they can cause to a building. Between lightning, high winds and hail, thunderstorms can cause significant destruction. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take before and during a storm that can assist in minimizing thunderstorm damage.
It is best to perform as many precautions that can be taken before storm season as possible. Taking safety steps far in advance will save your organization time and hassle in the quick moments before a storm. Consider these precautions in preventing damage to your building:
- Install lightning rods in new buildings. Have older buildings inspected to determine if a lightning rod should be installed.
- Routinely trim dead branches off trees. Strong winds can cause branches to fall and do considerable damage.
- Secure outdoor objects that can blow in strong winds.
- Keep a battery-powered radio available in the church or school office with extra batteries.
- Have a professional electrician install a commercial surge protector at your circuit board to protect sensitive electrical equipment, such as organs, computers, telephones, copy machines, and fax machines. Make sure that electrical circuits are properly grounded.
- Clean the gutters every spring and fall. Make sure they are clear of leaves, twigs, and other debris that can cause drainage problems.
If time allows before a storm, ensure as many of these precautions are in place to help protect your facility.
Beyond taking steps before a storm, there are ways to protect your facility during a storm as well. Two steps your organization can take in preventing lightning damage include the following:
- Do not handle electrical equipment or a telephone when lightning is striking. The lightning can follow the wire.
- Turn off electrical appliances, such as air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressors.
With such a high likelihood of thunderstorms, it is important to always be prepared for one to strike in your community. These storms pose a serious threat to buildings. Therefore, protecting them as much as possible will spare your organization physical and monetary damages.
For more information regarding precautions before and during thunderstorms, view the Why Your Church Should Take Storm Damage Seriously fact sheet on SafeChurch.com.