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May 21, 2013

Severe thunderstorm safety tips

GREENVILLE — The National Weather Service offers the following tips on staying safe in the event of a severe thunderstorm:

— If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately!

— Move to a sturdy building and stay away from windows. Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles. If a sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hard top automobile and keep windows up. Beware, though, since vehicles offer poor protection from downburst winds and only fair protection from hail.

— Get out of boats and away from water.

— Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Use phones ONLY in an emergency.

If caught outdoors and no shelter Is nearby:

— Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.

— If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.

— If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Make yourself the smallest target possible, and minimize your contact with the ground.

— If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!

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