Intense storms have already hit many parts of the country this summer, and while rain is always a good thing for parched land, there are many dangers that come along with bad weather. Next time you are out on the porch watching nature’s thrilling storms, remember how dangerous lightning can be.
Lightning is one of the top three storm killers in the United States. According to the National Weather Service, on average 58 people are killed each year by lightning. In 2012, to date, 12 people have already lost their lives to lightning strikes. People who survive lightning strikes suffer from a range of life-long problems such as: memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, chronic pain, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and more.
Whenever you hear thunder, lighting is not far behind. Even if you don’t see lightning, you are still within striking distance. Give yourself a head start and head in doors fast before it’s too late. Always remember this saying from the National Weather Service, “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!”
Being aware of the following safety guidelines, will greatly reduce your risk of danger from lightning strikes:
- Seek shelter immediately. Find a sturdy, solid building or a vehicle with a hard top. Do not go into sheds or open vehicles, they are not safe.
- Can’t find shelter fast enough? Look for a deep ditch or low lying area and take cover, making sure to stay as far away as possible from water.
- Remain Inside. Stay away from any source of water and electricity. Unplugging electronics is a good idea, but if it can’t be done safely, DON’T DO IT!
- Stay away from windows. Lightning can strike though windows if there is something giving it a path. For example: wires, metal poles, etc.
- Try not to use telephones and electrical equipment.
- Think the storm is over? When you think the storm is over wait at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before moving back outdoors.
If someone has been struck by lightning it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Summer storms are beautiful sights, but they’re not worth risking your life! Stay safe and remember: “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!”