Severe weather awareness week: Lightning safety

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About 1800 thunderstorms are ongoing at anytime somewhere on earth which amounts to 16 million storms a year. This produces about 25 million cloud to lightning strikes per year in the US alone. Lightning is very dangerous and even 5 times hotter than the sun so it should be taken seriously when there’s a threat nearby. Many cases people wait until it starts raining but if you think about it, rain isn’t a threat lightning is and you can get struck by lightning even under clear blue skies and 10 miles from the rain.

If you’re caught outside the best place to go is inside, if there’s no building or house nearby a car is the next best option. If you’re at an outdoor event, don’t wait until authorities tell you to seek shelter if you hear thunder take action yourself and protect yourself by getting into a safe spot until the storm and threat of lightning passes.

A common myth is if someone gets struck by lightning and you touch them you’ll be electrocuted yourself but that’s not true you are safe to give them CPR if needed.

Despite a house and building being the safest place to be during a lightning storm it’s not 100% safe. You want to avoid anything that conducts electricity. This means staying off anything that’s plugged into the wall and avoid showering and washing dishes as the lightning could travel through pipes.

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