Hurricane season is here, and it seems like we’ve been having thunder and lightning storms every week.  While these storms can sometimes be fun to watch, they can also be extremely dangerous.  People are injured by lightning every year, but these simple tips will ensure that you stay safe!

  • It’s important to stay alert and aware of local weather forecasts, whether you’re staying local or going somewhere on vacation, make sure you look up local weather forecasts so you can avoid being outside if a thunder and lightning storm is expected.
  • It is not safe to be outside during a thunder and lightning storm.  Seek shelter immediately, being indoors is the best option but if not stay inside an enclosed metal vehicle.  Even if it is not raining, as soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, immediately stop your activities and head inside.
  • Once you’re inside, stay off porches, away from windows and doors, avoid appliances, sinks, toilets, showers, and tubs.  Lightning can flow through these objects and strike a person.
  • Avoid using corded telephones.  If telephone wires are struck the charge could flow to the phone, Cordless phones and cell phones are still safe to use though.
  • If you are outside and cannot seek shelter, stay away from trees and other tall objects.  If these are struck and fall over, you could be seriously injured.  Avoid high places such as hills, and get to the lowest spot possible.  Crouch down with your feet close together, keep your hands and knees off the ground and never lie down.
  • If you are swimming or boating, get to land immediately and take shelter.  If you are on a boat and cannot get to land, get below deck if possible or crouch as low as you possibly can.
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity such as power lines and metal fences.
  • Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last boom of thunder just to be sure the storm has completely passed.
  • If someone nearby is struck by lightning, call 911 immediately and if the person is unconscious, begin CPR if you are qualified.  People struck by lightning do not carry an electric charge so it is perfectly safe to assist them.

Although thunder and lightning storms can happen year-round, hurricane season is the busiest season for these storms, and by keeping these tips in mind, you will greatly reduce your risk of being struck by lightning.

Photo By: John Fowler