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19 Jul Don’t Be Shocked: Lightning Safety Tips

Summer is a time for fun and leisure. Warm days and sunshine lure us outdoors for activities with friends and family. But summer weather can, and will oftentimes change quickly. Lightning can occur all year round; however, July is generally the month with the most recorded lightning strikes. Two thirds of all lightning casualties happen between 12-6PM when everyone’s out having fun. Do you remember all of the storm safety tips you were taught years ago? Here’s a review of staying safe when you see lightning.

Many think that if it’s not raining you’re safe from lightning, but lightning can strike 10-15 miles from a thunderstorm. So, if you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike the area you’re in. No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are near. As soon as you hear thunder you should move indoors if possible. Once indoors here are a few tips to keep you safe.

  • Move to an interior room avoiding windows and doors.
  • Do not use any appliances that would conduct electricity. It would be best to unplug as many appliances as you can.
  • Avoid bathing, showering, washing hands, clothes or dishes.
  • Do not stand or lean against concrete floors or walls.
  • If there is a power outage use flashlights instead of candles as these present a fire hazard.

 

If you are outdoors you should immediately seek shelter in a building (not an open aired shelter) or inside your car. If the car is your only choice avoid leaning on the doors and keep windows shut. If you are unable to find either of these options, here are a few outdoor tips to keep you safe.

  • Immediately get off open elevated areas like hills, peaks, or ridges.
  • Stay clear of any bodies of water and wet items.
  • Do not seek shelter under tall trees.
  • Stay away from metal fences or any objects that conduct electricity.
  • Move to a low area and crouch down. Do not lie down, as currents move along the ground surface.
  • If you are with a group of people spread out (15 feet apart) to avoid traveling currents.

 

The National Weather Service’s motto is “When Thunder Roars Go Indoors”. But how long do you have to stay indoors? It is suggested that you stay in 30 minutes after the last thunder clap you hear. Remember lightning can travel up to 10 miles away from the storm clouds.

If you are with someone who has suffered from a lightning strike or electrical current you should immediately help them by giving them CPR and calling 911. There would be no danger to you as the human body does not store electricity.

It’s best to develop a plan and educate your family this summer before the unexpected change in weather occurs.

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