There is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm. And don’t be fooled by blue skies. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to cause damage. Many deaths by lightning happen before or after a storm.
So what should you do if you are caught outside in a thunderstorm?
- Avoid open areas. Don’t be the tallest object in the area
- Stay away from isolated tall trees, towers, or utility poles.
- Stay away from metal conductors.
- Spread out if you are in a group of people
If someone is struck by lightning, act fast. Many times, people think victims carry an electrical charge and that just isn’t true. You should call 911 immediately and if necessary begin CPR. Some lightning deaths can be prevented if the victim gets immediate first aid.
Lightning causes an average of between 55 and 60 fatalities each year. The deaths are most common during the summer and during the afternoon and evening.
You can also avoid a lightning threat by staying off of your corded phone unless it is an emergency. Cell phones and cordless phones are okay to use. Also stay away from electrical equipment and wiring. Don't take a bath or shower during a storm.