Spring Weather Preparedness
Lightning cause many fatalities and injuries every year, most occur when people are caught outdoors in late spring and summer months during the afternoon and evening. Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. So keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder. If you hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately!
The National Weather Service says: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
How far away is the thunderstorm?
Count the number of seconds between a flash of lightning and the next clap of thunder. Divide this number by 5 to determine the distance to the lighting in miles.
Plan Ahead! Be aware of the weather before planning outdoor activities or have a way of checking up-to-date weather information. Know the weather forecast.
- Local Radio
- Cell Phone
In recent years people have been killed and injured by lightning while:
- Standing under tree
- Riding a horse
- Loading a truck
- Riding on a lawnmower
- Playing soccer
- Bike riding
- Talking on the telephone
- Fishing in a boat
- Mountain climbing
Safe Locations to reduce risk when outdoors.
The SAFEST locations during storms are large buildings. A safe building is one that is fully enclosed with a roof, walls and floor, such as a home, school, office building or shopping center. The second safest location is an enclosed vehicle. Safe vehicles are hard-topped and fully enclosed, car, SUV, minivan, bus tractor, etc. (Soft topped convertibles are not safe). Close doors and roll up windows. Do not touch metal surfaces.
Under tall trees, convertible cars, car ports, covered but open garages, covered patio, picnic shelters, beach shacks/pavilions, golf shelters, camping tents, large outdoor tents, baseball dugouts, and other small buildings such as sheds and greenhouses.
If Someone Is Struck By Lightning…
People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely. Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1. The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places. Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.