And this year the torrential rains, high winds and generally crazy weather pattern seems to be doing its best to disrupt rush hour driving and house hunting after dinner.
The summer thunderstorms with heavy rain and tornado risk can make driving hazardous. Navigating the elements takes great caution and preparedness, no matter if you’re pulling out of a lot with a new car or driving home after work.
There are some basic equipment and techniques you should consider if you’re ever faced with a potentially dangerous storm on Colerain, Montgomery, Beechmont or other roads in the greater Cincinnati area.
Always check weather reports before heading out, especially if it looks like a storm is coming. Thunderstorms and torrential downpours are part of the Cincinnati driving experience. When that giant grey cloud formation turns into a driving rain that makes it difficult to see, The Weather Channel urges drivers to “pull safely onto the shoulder of the road away from any trees that could fall on the vehicle.” It’s better to be safe than sorry. Stay in your car and put the flashing hazard lights on to indicate to anyone behind you that you’ve stopped on the shoulder.
FEMA adds that an automobile “provides better insulation against lightning than being in the open.” If there is a tornado warning, however, driving is never a safe option. If you can help it, never venture out during an active tornado warning. The safest place is underground. If you do happen to be driving when there is a tornado risk, Fox 19 suggests immediately going to a nearby building and waiting on the lowest level. Tornadoes change direction quickly and a sturdy building is the safest place to wait until the danger passes.
Making sure your home is safe during bad weather is important too. Take a few minutes to do a “walk about” around your property. Check for unsecured gutters and downspouts, shutters that might need to be reattached and clean out any debris from the bottom of downspouts and window wells. Anything you can do to caulk cracks and secure anything attached to your home and condo. Don’t forget to eyeball landscaping for lose limbs and remove as many as possible before high winds hit. And finally don’t forget to secure backyard furniture…and of course the cover on the grill. Flying furniture can do a lot of damage and while not dangerous- it’s a pain to chase the lost grill cover around the neighborhood. And finally, if you have one, test your sump pump.
Tornado season has arrived and the Red Cross has a list of items and suggestions. It’s always a good idea to have some food and water stored in case you lose power for an extend period of time and taking a few moments to find the safest spot in your home, neighborhood or nearby -just in case- never hurt anybody.
There are lots of local weather apps available to keep you up-to-date on rapidly changing weather in Cincinnati. Buckle up with all the right tools and you can weather Cincinnati storms too!