Lightning strikes may be rare, but they still happen, and the risk of injury or death is severe. You can beat the odds and protect yourself, your loved ones, and your clients during a thunderstorm by following these safety tips from Paul Davis.
Safety precautions outdoors
• Seek shelter in an enclosed building that could be your home or any close-by school, church or shopping center.
• If you don’t have enough time to get to a building, get inside your parked car and roll windows up.
• After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Wait 30 minutes after hearing thunder to return outside.
If you are caught outside, reduce your risk by taking smart measures:
• Avoid hills, mountain ridges, or peaks.
• Never lie flat on the ground. Crouch down in a ball-like position.
• Never shelter under an isolated tree.
• Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
• Avoid proximity from ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water.
• Stay away from objects that conduct electricity.
Safety precautions indoors
• Do NOT shower, wash dishes, or have any contact with water. Lightning can travel through plumbing.
• Avoid using electronic equipment of all types. Lightning can travel through radio, TV, and other electrical systems.
• Avoid concrete floors and walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Source: NOAA National Weather Service & National Center for Environmental Health