Stay Informed and Stay Safe
Many people enjoy the Ontario outdoors in spring and summer. With increased time spent outside, it’s important to know what to do when threatening weather approaches. Lightning is the most common danger associated with thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may also produce very strong winds, large hail, heavy rains and, in rare circumstances, tornadoes. Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the safety tips below.
A good way to stay current with the latest weather forecasts and warnings is to listen to Environment Canada’s Weatheradio broadcasts. Most of Ontario’s Weatheradio network transmits continuous weather information on special VHF-FM frequencies. Compact, battery-powered Weatheradio receivers are available in most electronics stores to monitor these broadcasts. At a few selected locations, low-power broadcasts are transmitted on regular AM or FM bands. Environment Canada’s Weatheradio Web site has a full list of transmitter locations.
Being aware of your surroundings is another important part of staying safe outdoors. Identify in advance the places where you could take shelter if threatening weather approaches. Then, if the skies darken and you see lightning, you will know what to do and where to find the most appropriate shelter.
Lightning, Strong Winds, and Large Hail
If in a tent or tent-trailer, move to the closest comfort station/washroom or your hard-topped vehicle.
If no shelter is available, seek refuge deep in a thick stand of trees. If no trees or only solitary trees are nearby, then find the lowest-lying area. Crouch down and cover your head.
For additional Lightning Safety Tips:
Heavy Rain/Flash Floods
Avoid camping close to streams or rivers as heavy rain can cause water levels to rise rapidly.
Never cross rain-swollen streams or rivers as the undercurrents could carry you downstream.
If flash flooding does occur, get to higher ground immediately.
Move to a campground comfort station/washroom. Crouch and cover your head.
If there is no comfort station or washroom nearby, evacuate your tent or camper van. Lie down flat in a low-lying area and cover your head with your hands.
DO NOT get into your vehicle to escape a tornado! Strong tornadoes can overturn vehicles.