Be ‘Weather Aware’ – How to stay safe when lightning storms arrive
This week marks Lightning Safety Awareness Week. As the summer season officially kicks off, there will be more thunderstorms. Are you prepared?
Lightning can be hotter than the surface of the sun and can reach temperatures of 50,000 degrees. There are over 25 million strikes in the United States each year. Summer is the time when most storms occur, but they can also pop up anytime and anyplace.
About 20 people die each year on average from lightning strikes. Hundreds are severely injured. Lightning has the ability to travel far horizontally from the storm and catch people off guard. It can travel up to 10 miles away and sometimes appear as a “bolt out of the blue.”
This is why it’s very important to monitor the weather daily and have a plan.
-Download the News 12 app to stay on top of the changing weather conditions.
-Make a plan if you’ll be outdoors.
-Know your safe place and how to get in touch with others.
-Pay close attention to any alerts like severe thunderstorms watches and warnings from the National Weather Service.
-If you’re outdoors, seek shelter immediately in the closest building.
-Do not take shelter under tall trees. This can be very dangerous.
-If there is no safe building nearby, head to your car. It’s not the rubber tires that save you, it’s actually the metal frame that will protect you from lightning strikes.
-A house is a safe place to be, but you want to avoid anything that conducts electricity.
-Unplug and don’t use any electrical appliances.
-Stay away from metal doors and plumbing.
-Stay away from windows as debris can fly easily and break the windows.
-Remember the phrases “When thunder roars – go indoors” or “When you see a flash – dash inside!” That can save your life.
-To play it safe, stay indoors 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.
For more info from the NWS visit https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-safety.