According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities in the United States. Since the old adage that you have better odds of getting struck by lightning than winning the lottery is true, here are some helpful tips to protect your property and you during a thunderstorm:
- If outdoors during a thunderstorm, taking shelter in a non-concrete structure or your vehicle, can provide a safe alternative to being outside. If no cover is available, crouching down with knees to chest, feet on the ground, and head tucked is the recommended stance. Never lie on the ground when lightning is visible.
- Check the weather forecast before an outdoor activity. If thunderstorms are predicted, it may be best to plan an indoor alternative.
- Stay away from concrete as lightning travels through the metal wire framing located within walls and floors made of concrete.
- When indoors, do not take a shower or run water during a thunderstorm. If lightning is present, the electrical current can travel through plumbing pipes and cause injury.
- Televisions, computers, and other electronics are susceptible to power surges during a thunderstorm. This is a good time to put the electronics away and pick up a good book!
- Lightning strikes to your property may spark a fire. In the event of a fire, evacuate immediately and call 911.