Lightning Safety Tips
With summer comes summer storms which leads to thunder and especially lightning. All those times that you were told to stay off the phone during a storm wasn’t just your parents being overprotective. There are plenty of things you should and should not do to stay safe during a storm. Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 19 through June 23. This is a great time to make sure you know how to stay safe during a storm!
Staying Safe During a Storm
Because electricity can be conducted through many things, and lightning can strike almost anywhere, it’s important to know how to stay safe during a storm.
- If you hear thunder, lightning is often close by. Get inside as soon as you possibly can.
- After a storm, remain inside for at least another 30 minutes after the last time you hear thunder.
- During a storm, stay off phones, computers, and other electrical items. Turn off the TV, too.
- Shutdown your computer completely during a storm to avoid it being damaged in a power surge or direct lightning strike.
- Stay away from windows and doors during the storm.
- Get off porches and decks, even if they’re covered. Get inside a sturdy building instead.
- Avoid taking showers or baths or washing dishes or doing the laundry. Stay away from water and plumbing during a storm.
- Get away from concrete walls and do not stand on bare concrete floors.
When You Can’t Get to a Safe Place
While rare, it’s possible you might be stuck outside and far away from a safe shelter during a storm. Knowing what to do when this happens could save your life.
- Do not shelter under a tree. Because of their height, trees are the likeliest to be struck by lightning.
- Do not lie flat on the ground because you’re more likely to be hit by a ground current if lightning strikes something close to you.
- Leave elevated areas like hilltops, peaks, and cliffs. Get as low as you can into a valley or other low-lying area.
- Get as far away from bodies of water as you can - ponds, lakes, ocean, rivers, streams, and even pools.
- Stay away from barbed wire fences, power lines, and anything else that can conduct electricity.
- Keep moving to find shelter.
If you’re with someone who is struck by lightning, you can touch them - it’s a myth that touching someone who has been struck will electrocute you, too. Administer CPR as soon as possible if someone is hit by lightning.
Lightning is a scary thing, and most of us would rather not think about getting struck. While you can’t stop lightning from striking where it will, you can lessen the chance of being hurt by it. Know what you need to do now so that you can stay safe in the next storm.