Safety Tips During a Storm
Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These casualties are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.
1. Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.
2. Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.
3. Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.
4. Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.
5. Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.
6. If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.