Thunder and Lightning Safety

Thunder and Lightning Safety

Thunder and lightning rolling your way?
Whether summer storms safely with these helpful tips

All thunderstorms produce lightning and all have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires, and flash flooding, which is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard.

In the United States, lightning kills 300 people and injures 80 on average, each year. And lightning's risk to individuals and property increases because of its unpredictability―it often strikes outside of heavy rainfall, up to 10 miles away.

Ready America, a national public service campaign from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), champions the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule. Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.

It’s also important to be familiar with the terms used to identify thunderstorm hazards. For instance, a thunderstorm watch means there is a possibility of a thunderstorm in your area. A thunderstorm warning means a thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon. If you are advised to take shelter, do so immediately.

There are several things you can do to prepare your home for summer storms:

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.

Finally, as with all emergency situations, listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials. For more tips on weathering storms safely, visit www.ready.gov.

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