Lightning is produced in all thunderstorms and strikes the earth approximately 20 million times a year. Reports indicate it causes an average of 80 fatalities and 300 injuries each year in the U.S.
Lightning Safety Rules
- When you are home, avoid using the telephone except for emergencies. Unplug those appliance (including the air conditioner) not necessary for obtaining weather information. Do not take a bath or shower. Stay away from windows.
- If you are outside, move to a large, sturdy building. If that option is unavailable, get inside an automobile and keep the windows up and avoid touching any metal.
- Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles. Avoid farm machinery and equipment. Stay away from tall objects, wire fences, clotheslines, telephone poles power lines open water, or any other conductor which can transmit the electricity to you.
- If caught outside without shelter, find a low spot immune to flooding and away from trees, fences and poles. Never lie flat on the ground. Make yourself the smallest possible target by squatting low to the ground on the balls of your feet and by placing your head between your knees with your hands clasped behind your head. In the woods, take shelter under shorter trees. If you are boating, swimming, bicycling, riding a motorcycle, golf cart, or scooter, find shelter immediately.