People don’t tend to think of thunderstorms as particularly dangerous, but they can and do cause quite a bit of damage.
While animals and children are scared of the loud thunder, it is the lightning that is the most dangerous. Entire sports teams have been killed by a single stroke of lightning from a storm that “looked far away.”
It is dangerous to bathe during a thunderstorm as the energy from the lightning can follow the metal pipes. Stay away from tall objects like trees and light poles. I’ve seen lightning hit a house and pop the heads off of the nails in the wall. That is a good time to call the fire department to make sure that the wiring in the walls hasn’t melted and caught fire.
A surge protector on your electronics: TV, cable box, computer, router and the like should help protect them from a nearby lightning strike. That said, the protective circuitry does wear out over time so a surge protector should be replaced after a lightning strike or after a couple of years.
Wind is another big problem. You might think of wind shear as something that only airplanes have to worry about but hurricane force winds are something that can damage your home even if they just pick up some outdoor furniture and slam it through the window. I lived through an air avalanche as winds over 80 mph tore down trees, ripped up roof shingles and even collapsed buildings.
It can get worse. thunderstorms can spawn tornados. Tornados are rotating columns of air that can exceed 50 mph and even reach 250 mph. Fast enough to pick up random stuff small rocks, outdoor furniture, cars and even trains and throw them long distances. The flying debris can punch through trees and walls. I once saw a 2×4 sticking out of the side of tree. While it is always a good idea to keep your yard clean and to bring in outdoor furniture when a tornado threatens that does no good if a tornado rips you neighbors home apart and starts throwing around the debris. Other things you can do to reduce the risk of damage to your home from a near miss is to know how tornados rip apart homes. It isn’t pressure that does it, so opening the windows is about the worst thing you can do. Once the wind gets inside the roof lifts off because of lift exactly like and airplane’s wing. The two most vulnerable points in a typical home are the garage door, it is large and once it gives way will allow the winds to pick up the roof. The other is the big window in the family room, it can be shattered by debris and that lets the roof come off. Instead of one big garage door or picture window use smaller ones that are reinforced to withstand impacts.
Rain is another big deal, it can cause flooding, because the ground cannot absorb the rain water fast enough or if it is saturated and can hold no more. The rainwater is like any other water, it’ll seek the lowest level. That means it will flow downhill to fill low spots, like streams, rivers and basements. If the rivers fill up then it will spread into the flood plains. Flood plains are classified by how often they flood determined by historical and archaeological studies. Governments tend not to allow building in flood plains that recur more often then 100 years, but there are plenty of grandfathered buildings in those zones in some places. So check out the flood maps of your city at the town hall or building department or online. Proper landscaping will divert small floods around your home, sandbags are useful in medium sized floods, storing the bags is easy all the sand is more of a challenge, though your kids may love to have a big, deep sandbox to play in.