I remember the stories my Dad told me when I was younger about how dangerous lightning was. He was a school counselor and some of his students had sustained major injuries from being hit by lightning. So, needless to say, you don’t have to tell me twice to stay indoors during a storm. But, I fear many people don’t take a thunderstorm as seriously as me.
“When Thunder Roars, Stay Indoors,” is the theme for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) national lightning safety awareness week June 19-25, 2011. Yes, there is a lion on the promotions, but I say whatever it takes to get this important message across. In the United States, an average of 55 people a year are killed by lightning. Many more are injured. To date there has already been five deaths associated with lightning in 2011.
Hundreds of people are permanently injured each year. People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, chronic pain, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression and more.
The NOAA provides some helpful tips for lightning safety awareness:
Outdoor Lightning Safety Tips
- NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!! If you are caught outside with no safe shelter, check out this NOAA link to reduce your risk: Lightning, What you need to know.
- If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
- When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter.
- Safe shelter is a substantial building or inside an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle.
- Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder.
Indoor Lightning Safety Tips
- Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
- Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths, and faucets. It’s also not recommended to take a bath or shower during any part of the storm.
- Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
- Do not lie on concrete floors, lean against concrete wall or stand on bare concrete.
Remember; If someone is struck by lightning, monitor the victim and begin CPR or AED, if necessary. Call 911 for help and don’t try to move the victim if a spinal injury is suspected. Victims do not carry an electrical charge and may need immediate medical attention.
Stay safe every month with tips from Foremost. Your safety is number one to us. For peace of mind, contact a Foremost agency to talk about a insurance policy.