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Emergency Management

Posted on: May 3, 2018

Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week: Lightning Safety Fact or Fiction

Thursday - Lightening (1)

LIGHTNING SAFETY FACT OR FICTION:

  • FACT: Lightning strikes in the U.S. about 25 million times a year.
  • FACT: There is no safe place outdoors when a thunderstorm is nearby. Whether on the lake, the golf course, or the playground, seek shelter immediately!
  • FACT: The vast majority of lightning victims were on their way to a safe place but waited too long to seek shelter.
  • FACT: Wait at least 30 minutes after a thunderstorm has passed to go outside once again.
  • FACT: Do not use a landline phone or take a shower or bath during a thunderstorm. The lightning can travel through the wiring and plumbing of the house and injure or kill you.
  • FICTION: The rubber soles of your shoes protect you from being struck by lightning. (The truth is that rubber soles provide NO added protection.)
  • FICTION: People struck by lightning should not be touched because they carry an electric charge. (The truth is victims carry no charge. Call 9-1-1 and begin CPR or use an AED if lightning is no longer a threat while applying first aid.)
  • FICTION: "Heat Lightning" occurs after hot summer days and poses no threat. (The truth is "Heat Lightning" is simply lightning from a thunderstorm that is so far away that you cannot hear the thunder.)
  • FICTION: Lightning never strikes the same place twice. (There is no truth to this. In fact, the Empire State Building is struck anywhere from 25 - 100 times a year.)
  • FICTION: The rubber tires on your car protect you from lightning strikes. (The truth is the metal frame of your car actually can protect you from being struck, but only if you're not touching any metal yourself.) hsw_car_lightning

For more information about lightning safety, visit https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning

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