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The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) issued another early warning for unstable weather conditions expected between Sunday, March 24 and Tuesday, March 26. Image Credit: Zohaib Arjum/Gulf News reader

Dubai: With heavy rain, thunderstorms, and lightning expected in some parts of the UAE early next week, staying safe is crucial.

On Wednesday, March 20, the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) issued an early warning for unstable weather conditions expected between Sunday, March 24 and Tuesday, March 26.

More recently, the UAE has experience more intense weather conditions and in such cases the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), often announces safety measures and protocol to follow during stormy weather. NCEMA, along with the Ministry of Interior and NCM, regularly issue guidelines in advance to residents, to help them stay safe.

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For example, in the past NCEMA has urged residents to stay at home and only leave in cases of “extreme necessity”, and to park vehicles at a safe, and elevated location, away from areas prone to flooding, formation of streams, and water accumulation.

To ensure your safety and that of others around you, you can follow these basic safety guidelines from NCEMA when you do experience such weather conditions.

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What should you avoid when there is lightning?

NCEMA explains that lightning is usually harmless because most of its charges do not reach the Earth. But here are a few basic guidelines you need to always keep in mind, according to NCEMA:

If you live in flood-prone areas, here’s what you should do when you are at home:

Up-to-date weather reports - Stay informed with official forecasts.
Emergency kit - Be prepared with essentials like a flashlight and first-aid supplies.
Close all your windows - Ensure that all the windows, exterior doors and other inlets have been tightly closed.
Do not leave the house - Do not leave the house unless necessary and do not allow children to play outside the house. Postpone any outdoor activities or work.
Backup lighting - Power outages are possible. Have candles or a charged flashlight handy.
Unplug electronics - Disconnect appliances to avoid damage from electrical surges.
Don’t use your telephone - Use cordless or mobile phones during storms.
Avoid taking a shower - Lightning can travel through plumbing.
Minimise contact with metal - Avoid windows, doors, and metal objects.

Caught outside? Here's what to do
Seek shelter immediately: Head for a sturdy building or enclosed vehicle.
Drive with caution: Watch out for slippery roads and reduced visibility.
Ditch the high ground: Avoid elevated areas or rooftops.
Find a safe, low spot: Stay clear of tall trees, poles, and power lines.
Move away from water: Avoid beaches, valleys, and dams. If you happen to be out at sea, head to the shore.
Spread out: If you're in a group, maintain distance from each other.
Stay away from metal: This includes fences, pipes, and railway tracks.