Even in drought conditions like much of the country has been facing, it’s still imperative for all residents across the country to realize that we’re in the midst of storm season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Weather Service estimate that the month of July sees 16 fatalities related to lightning every year, with August not far behind with about 12 deaths. 54 people die per year because of a lightning strike. Given these statistics, steps to preserve safety should be taken whenever a storm is imminent, and a new report from CNN offers tips on how to do just that.
The first thing you should do is get inside if you hear thunder brewing in the distance. Once you hear thunder, you’re already within range of lightning. It might not seem like such a thing would be possible if hail, wind, and rain aren’t even visible, but lightning has the potential to unfurl its tendons miles away from the edge of a storm. Better to err on the side of caution and take shelter. Once inside, don’t use a phone with a cord, as shock can travel through the device, and don’t go near a window.
In those instances where seeking shelter is not an immediate possibility, you can still take steps that should mitigate the risk posed. Metallic objects should be avoided at all costs, as should bodies of water and utility poles. Even things you might not think about like trees and towers should be kept at a distance. And if you’re in some form of clearing, then do what you can to keep your own body lower than the height of nearby objects.
With summer still here, outdoor activities of all sorts have been scheduled across the entire country, but before you attend such an event, make the preparations necessary to ensure you’ll be ready to move into action in an emergency. Look online to see what the weather is going to be like, and keep track of ongoing weather patterns with a device like a smartphone if doing so is possible. This can make you comfortable in the knowledge that you know when it’s time to leave or seek shelter.
Once you do get to an outdoor activity, get to know the area well. And don’t be afraid to question the people in charge of the event on what to do should an emergency take place. Signs may also be strewn about that can alert you to that information. An appropriate shelter spot should always be kept in mind. If you travel to such an event with your family, make sure everyone knows where to meet if you get separated during a storm.
By following these tips, you can better ensure the safety of yourself and your family.