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General recommendations thunderstorms

What to do if a thunderstorm is forecast

  • Because thunderstorms often develop very suddenly, and their path is not easy to predict, there is poten-tially very little time to prepare. In stormy weather, you should therefore be prepared for sudden, heavy precipitation (rain or hail), gusts of wind and lightning.

    Information on the potential effects and hazard categories of storms can be found here.

    What to do if a thunderstorm is approaching:

  • Keep an eye on local weather developments.

  • Pay attention to the push notifications on the MeteoSwiss-App.

  • When planning outdoor activities, consider what protection options are available.

  • Don’t leave pot plants, sun umbrellas, awnings, light-weight plastic chairs, etc. unsecured and out in the open (hail and wind damage).

  • If possible, park the car in a garage (hail damage).

  • Cover sensitive plants to protect them against hail.

  • Unplug electrical appliances (e.g. TV, computer).

What to do during a thunderstorm

  • If a thunderstorm is rapidly approaching, strong gusts of wind and hail can be expected. Strong winds often precede lightning and heavy showers. If the storm is moving more slowly, or is stationary, heavy rain is the main risk factor.

    The length of time between the flash of lightning and the roll of thunder will tell you how far away the storm is: if you divide the number of seconds between the lightning and thunder by three, this gives the distance from the thunderstorm in km.

    Advice on what to do in a thunderstorm, or if a storm is close by:

  • Keep an eye on local weather developments.

  • Pay attention to the push notifications on the MeteoSwiss-App.

  • Avoid mountain ridges, trees, masts and towers, all of which are at risk of lightning strikes.

  • Seek shelter in a building or car.

  • In open terrain, if lightning is nearby, assume a crouched position.

  • Stay away from water.

  • Avoid flooded stretches of road, riverbeds and steep slopes.

  • Always follow the official recommendations.

What to do after a thunderstorm

  • The storm is over, and there is no longer any immediate danger. By doing certain things straight away, such as clearing away debris and cleaning up, you can prevent further damage.

    In addition, please take note of the following points:

  • Administer first aid or call an ambulance if anyone has been injured.

  • Do not remain inside a damaged building.

  • Call the fire service if dangerous conditions need to be dealt with or barriers set up.

  • Do not touch any fallen cables.

  • Watch out for falling branches.

  • Take care around watercourses that have burst their banks.

  • The following procedures are recommended in order to avoid subsequent damage:

  • Check your house or apartment for storm damage.

  • Notify your house insurance company of any damage you find.

  • See the PLANAT website for further information on precautionary measures.